A mum said she was “lucky to be alive” as she thanked the rescue heroes who saved her after she plunged 100ft down a ravine.
Keen hillwalker Suzanne Williams was on Ben Cruachan, near Oban, when she lost her footing and tumbled down the gorge.
The 43-year-old managed to stop her descent to the ground 200ft further below by jamming the sole of her foot into a gap in the rocks.
Her 10-year-old son, Seb, managed to call the emergency services using his mum’s phone, and then scrambled down to comfort Mrs Williams while they were on the way.
She was left with a gash on her head and suffered two broken bones in her neck. To this day Mrs Williams can barely bend her right knee after losing 60% of her knee cap.
She spent three weeks in Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth and Royal Infirmary hospitals and a week in St Mary’s Hospital in London.
She has now spoken out to thank the Oban Mountain Rescue Team.
She said: “I can remember it well. I was trying to get over a slab of granite – and it was wet.
“I grabbed across to a tree to get the second step and the root gave way. I just tumbled for about 100ft and to stop my fall I jammed my sole into a gap in the rocks.
“Then I saw Seb. He has a cool head and he had scrambled down immediately and was with me for 30 minutes before the first rescuer came, followed by the others.
“Seb phoned for help and was with me for the whole two-and-a-half hours of the rescue. I was lucky to have him there.
“I know for a fact I’m lucky to be here.”
Now significantly better following the ordeal last October, she and Seb –along with husband Derek and daughters Francesca, 10, and six-year-old Natasha – have conquered the UK’s highest mountain to thank her rescuers.
And when the family reached the top of Ben Nevis, along with members of the Oban Mountain Rescue Team, their achievement was marked with a celebratory double fly past by a Coastguard helicopter which had also taken part in the mission.
Mrs Williams, who is from Perth, admitted she was “quite emotional” at the spectacle.
Seb has now been nominated by Oban MRT and Coastguards for a Pride of Britain child of courage award.
The youngster said: “I just reacted when I saw mum fall. I was not scared at the time, but I was relieved when the rescuers came. I just kept talking to mum to keep her spirits up.”
Mrs Williams, a fund development asset manager for a bank, took on Ben Nevis to raise money for rescuers and a children’s charity.
She said: “Oban MRT were phenomenal. The NHS got me on the road to recovery and were also great.”
She has so far raised more than £12,000 for her two charities from her Ben Nevis trek.