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Sep 15 2014

News » Hundreds join walk in memory of Tesni to keep air ambulance flying

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Hundreds join walk in memory of Tesni to keep air ambulance flying

The parents and classmates of teenager Tesni Edwards were joined yesterday (Sunday) by hundreds of supporters on a sponsored walk organised in her memory.
The walk was organised by Ifor Williams Trailers where Tesni's dad, Jason, works and he was accompanied by scores of colleagues from the company's factories in Cynwyd and Corwen.

All the proceeds will be going to the Wales Air Ambulance which was scrambled after 14-year-old Tesni collapsed a year last April.

Sadly, they were unable to save the popular pupil of Ysgol Dinas Bran, in Llangollen, who died of an undetected enlarged heart a couple of weeks before her 15th birthday.

Ifor Williams Trailers have pledged to match the amount raise to double the pot of money being donated to the Wales Air Ambulance charity.

The main walk from the trailer firm's factory in Cynwyd, near Corwen, to Llangollen was 14 miles long - one mile for every year of Tesni's life.

The Taith Tesni walk followed the general direction she took every morning when she went to school.

Her heartbroken mum, Dwysan, who is the Practice Manager at the Pen-y-Bont doctors' surgery in St Asaph, said: "We’re very grateful for all the support which makes us feel she was so well loved, and especially from Tesni's friends.

"They’re asking for sponsorship money and talking about Tesni in a really loving and happy way and that makes me feel really special that she is remembered in that way.

"We're also grateful to everybody - Ifor Williams employees, friends and family. I know a number are people have travelled from quite a big distance to come as well so we’re honoured.

"We think about Tes every second of every day and it’s nice to know that everybody else thinks about her as well and that she is still in their hearts and in their memories and that her spirit lives on in people.

"Until what happened with Tesni we didn’t realise how much the Wales Air Ambulance relied on donations.

"I’ll never forget hearing the whirl of their helicopter coming up, feeling reassured just at that noise and although obviously, due to the severity of her condition, they weren’t able to save Tesni that day, it highlighted the work that they do for other people. I felt very passionate from that moment about supporting them in any way that we could which is why Jason and I asked Ifor Williams Trailers to choose them as the charity to support."

It was a sentiment endorsed by Jason who works in the stores department at Ifor Williams Trailers

Jason said: "The fact that so many people wanted to be part of the walk means everything to us and it makes us all feel like we're doing something positive from this.

"Tes is certainly still in people's hearts and they are doing it for her which is great and that means a lot.

"It's hard to believe the Wales Air Ambulance relies so much on charity because it's such an important cause - anybody could need their help at a moment's notice.

"The walk is going to raise a good amount of money and raise awareness as well which is just as important.

"I want to thank everybody for making the effort, all the friends and family and colleagues for coming and Ifor Williams Trailers for organising the walk and in particular Carole Williams, Gordon Burns, Andrew Reece-Jones, Nadine Pilkington and Richard Hughes and everyone who has sponsored or given money towards the walk.

"It's a wonderful thing they are doing for Tesni and I want to thank them from the bottom of my heart."

Carole Williams, from Ifor Williams Trailers, said: "All our hearts went out to Jason and Dwysan and Tesni's two brothers, Morgan and Findlay, when she died so tragically young.

"Tesni was a beautiful young person on the cusp of a bright future and her loss is immeasurable to those who knew and loved her.

"We have worked closely with Jason and Dwysan to organise what we hope will be a fitting tribute to Tesni and it is appropriate and in line with the family's wishes that the proceeds will be going to the Wales Air Ambulance."

Every mission flown by Wales Air Ambulance costs £1,500 and the charity needs to raise £6 million a year to keep its three helicopters in the air.

With aircraft based in Caernarfon, Welshpool and Swansea, they can reach anywhere in Wales in 20 minutes - no matter how inaccessible it is.

That means casualties have a fighting chance of getting to hospital within the ‘Golden Hour’ – the first 60 minutes after trauma which can be crucial to survival.

Among those taking part in the walk was A-level student Lois Ellis, 16, who was a close friend of Tesni's.

She said: "I knew her from when I was about 10; we were in the same class and were big friends. She was either at mine or I was at hers and we used to sleep over at each other’s houses. She was a massive Harry Potter fan and always had a smile on her face.

"Tesni was always smart and always did well as school. She was so funny and great company and I miss her so much.

Lois’s mum, Tracey Ellis, a communications operator at North Wales Police’s communications HQ at St Asaph, added: "Tesni was a wonderful, beautiful and confident young lady who had a very positive influence on my own daughter."

"Tesni was a beautiful and special young lady and there is no better cause than Air Ambulance."

Dafydd Morris, assistant head teacher at Ysgol Dinas Bran, said: "Tesni was so conscientious and when she’d finished her work, which invariably was very quickly, she’d be back asking for more.

"Her untimely and unexpected death was a real tragedy that was felt by everyone in the community. I know Tesni’s mum and dad, Jason and Dwysan well. In fact my wife is related to Dwysan.

"I know they felt Tesni’s death harder than anyone, as you would expect. But if there is one thing that in a way is comforting it’s the fact that no one could have done anything. There is no one to blame, no one was at fault. This was a heart condition that was without symptoms and therefore was never diagnosed."

Wales Air Ambulance Fundraising Manager Lynne Garlick said: "We are so grateful to Tesni's parents and Ifor Williams Trailers for organising this sponsored walk to raise much needed money for this vital service.

"The Wales Air Ambulance saves lives every day, 365 days a year and we would not be able to do so without fund-raising events like this."



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