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Lurgan schoolgirl Hollie taking on abseil for HEMS team that saved her dad

Hollie Nelson (right) and her family

A Co Armagh schoolgirl is taking on a daring abseil in an effort to raise funds for the Air Ambulance NI after the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) helped save her dad’s life.

Hollie Nelson, from Lurgan, is only 15 years of age and is bravely taking on the 100ft abseil at Belfast castle on Sunday 10th December, to raise vital funds for the local charity.

One morning, Hollie’s dad Ryan had taken a sudden cardiac arrest on his front doorstep, when he became unconscious and unresponsive.

Through the quick responses of Hollie’s brother Corey, who called 999, nearby neighbours who performed critical CPR, NIAS road crews followed by the HEMS team to scene and a defibrillator, Hollie’s dad had the best chance of survival.

At the scene, the HEMS team provided critical care treatments which stabilised Ryan’s condition, before quickly transporting him to the Royal Victoria Hospital.

Hollie is grateful to every person who helped on that traumatic day at her home.

That is why she is challenging herself to do an abseil for the charity, so she can raise vital funds that will help keep the medical team in the air, flying to those who need urgent pre-hospital care.

Having been a previous Charity Ambassador at her school, St Ronan’s College in Lurgan, and raising terrific funds for the air ambulance, Hollie continues to be determined to raise as much as she can for the charity.

If you would like to support Hollie as she embarks on her abseil challenge for Air Ambulance NI, you can support her here

Twice a day, the air ambulance is needed (on average) to help a critically ill or injured patient, costing £6,850 every day.

It’s not only the medical crew who save lives, but the people who support the service, which is why Air Ambulance NI wants to encourage as many people as possible, like Hollie, to consider taking part in their Santa Abseil on Sunday, December 10.

Registration for the abseil is £40 and the charity simply ask each participant to raise £100 minimum in sponsorship.

Minimum age of 12 to participant. Consider signing up today for the festively fun challenge by visiting or you can email the charity team at

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