A Blackpool Victoria Hospital nurse said his charity trek of the Grand Canyon was ‘hell’.
Luke Sumner, 36, who works on the Cardiac Intensive Treatment Unit, spent five days walking 10 to 15 miles a day to raise money for the hospital’s in-house Blue Skies Hospital Fund.
After descending 3,100 feet with other fundraisers for various charities, Luke followed an ancient Indian trail which led them to the Havasupai Reservation, which has lagoons and waterfalls.
Luke said he wanted to quit a number of times, and said: “I was anxious enough at the thought of being with 24 strangers, but when I found out that there would also be rattlesnakes, tarantulas and scorpions, I was really apprehensive.
“Once we had spent the first day acclimatising, we spent most of our time just walking, cutting our way through bushes at one point and trying to avoid the sun. At one point I threw up, I was so fatigued.”
Luke, who camped in a tent on the Canyon floor and washed in rivers, said climbing back out was the hardest part of the trek, and added: “Coming out was just hell. My feet were blistered and bruised. It took every single ounce of muscle power to just get up one step.
“But once we had reached the top, we were all so relieved and amazed, we all broke down in tears.
“But after all we endured, we have made some lifelong friends and I came out realising that if I can get through that, I can take on the world – I never expected to feel like that.”
Fundraising boss Ann Hedley said she was ‘full of admiration’ for ‘humbled Luke, who she said was ‘tested to the limit’.
Luke raised £3,600 but targeted £4,000. Donate at justgiving.com/cardiaccitu