Gloucestershire

Coast walk mum to be joined on 'dangerous' leg of trip

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Media captionNatalia Spencer is half way into her walk around the coast of Britain

A grieving mother, whose daughter died last year from a rare autoimmune condition, is to be accompanied on a "dangerous" part of a round-Britain coastal walk by a concerned volunteer.

Natalia Spencer is half way into a 6,000 mile walk in memory of Elizabeth, who died in December aged five.

After hearing about the trip on social media local woman Mhairi Ross will join her "to keep her company and safe".

Ms Spencer said the walk had given her a "purpose" since her daughter's death.

She started her walk on 14 February from Durdle Door in Dorset, the last beach she and Elizabeth visited together.

Six months and 3,000 miles later she has now reached Lurignish near Oban in north west Scotland.

Image copyright Natalia Spencer
Image caption Elizabeth Spencer died after 18 days on life support at Bristol Children's Hospital

Ms Spencer, from Cheltenham, said her daughter was in her thoughts "every step of the way".

"It's hard to wake up every day and face reality without my daughter, but it's given me purpose and I feel I am going in the right direction."

Ms Ross said she had decided to accompany Ms Spencer for part of the journey because she was "impressed and very humbled" with her situation.

She said the next part of the route would be in a potentially dangerous remote area of the far west coast of Scotland.

"I'm quite keen on hill walking and know the countryside quite well," she said.

Elizabeth was taken ill in November with a relatively common virus which triggered an autoimmune condition known as Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH).

It caused her body to go into septic shock, shutting down her major organs and cutting off the blood supply to her limbs.

She spent 18 days on life support at Bristol Children's Hospital before she died, and the charity walk is raising funds for the hospital's Paediatric Intensive Care Unit.

She has raised more than £60,000 towards her £100,000 target.

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