Gran takes great steps for health charity

Elizabeth Mason taking a tea break up at McCaig's Tower during one of her fundraising daily walks.

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When Oban grandmother Elizabeth Mason was knocked down by a van in 2018, her injuries were so horrific her family were advised to say their last goodbyes.

Medics were not sure the then 70-year-old would survive being airlifted to Glasgow but she defied the odds and has raised more than £1,000 so far for the charity helping her recover.

Mrs Mason was put in an induced coma and spent nine weeks in hospital undergoing multiple operations – during her stay a blood clot in her lungs meant her devastated family almost lost her a second time.

When she was finally allowed home to Gallanach, she was referred for physio  at the town’s hospital – a broken right leg left her 2cms shorter on one side, affecting her balance. Complications from the blood clot also left her with COPD-like symptoms and she went on to develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder affecting her confidence and mood.

At the end of her series of physio sessions, Mrs Mason was put in touch with Lorn Healthy Options, a charity supporting the health journeys of people who have or are at risk of developing lifelong health conditions.

Lorn Healthy Options fundraiser Elizabeth Mason out walking with her husband Mark who is one of her top supporters

‘I’d never really heard of them. I’d always enjoyed walking but I’d never been to a gym before – I was worried everybody would be in lycra! But it wasn’t like that at all, other people there were just like me. The team put me at ease straight away, they are so encouraging and supportive and are like family now.

‘I went from going along to just one session a week up at Atlantis to three a week. Even in lockdown, the team has been there for us all, going online, giving us little talks and exercises to do. I can’t praise them enough for what they’ve done. They’ve helped give me my life back. They are amazing. I’m walking for them to say thank you and to help them keep up the good work!’

Since February 1, Mrs Mason and her husband Mark  have been walking on average 18,000 steps  daily to raise funds for Lorn Healthy Options. Her personal target of raising £200 by the end of that month has now exceeded the £1,000 mark and is still going strong.

By the final day of February, Mrs Mason had totalled  496,145 steps and based on her height that equals approximately 250 miles.

You can still make a donation here:

localgiving.org/fundraising/lizs-long-walk-15k-steps-every-day-of-february

The money will go towards Lorn Healthy Option’s 5 to 10 community fundraising campaign. It costs £200,000 to deliver the service every year, supporting each client can cost from £500 to £700.

‘None of us ever know what’s round the corner or in front of us each day. It could be any of us, our family or  friends who might need their help next, so please show your support. I can’t believe such an invaluable service is a charity and that it has to rely on donations to do such important work in the community. We re so lucky to have it on our doorstep,’ added Mrs Mason, whose family has also been a massive support, including daughter Mandy Cameron from Taynuilt and granddaughters Isobel, 12, as official cheerleader and 17-year-old Sarah who set up the online fundraising page.