Heart op girl (12) summits Ben Nevis

A 12-year-old girl from Sleaford has proudly reached the summit of Britain’s highest mountain despite enduring numerous heart operations as a youngster.
Evey Robinson on Ben Nevis.Evey Robinson on Ben Nevis.
Evey Robinson on Ben Nevis.

The achievement comes 12 years after her dad, Martin Robinson and some friends did a charity challenge in aid of the British Heart Foundation after Evey was born with a heart condition.

They did 86 rounds of boxing, the Three Peaks Challenge, followed by a sprint triathlon biking from Lincoln Cathedral to Ruskington, running from Ruskington to Sleaford then swimming two miles at the leisure centre.

Evey had surgery at six days old, then open heart surgery at six months when she suffered two strokes which paralysed her right hand side, needing months of physiotherapy. She had more heart surgery aged two and will eventually need a heart transplant. She still struggles with some movement but does not let it stop her.

In June 2020, self-employed builder Martin relocated to Scotland when he and Evey’s mum separated, but Evey comes to visit.

In September 2021, Evey completed climbing Goatfell on the Isle of Arran, at 2,867ft, when visiting her dad. Martin said: “When Evey said she wanted to do it, I thought why not? She found it difficult but really enjoyed it.”

Evey set her sights on Ben Nevis, and so they climbed it together this autumn, reaching the 4,413ft peak in under eight hours.

Setting out early, with plenty of stops, Evey began to find it tough after four hours, making it a battle of will.

“I never doubted she would do it, in fact, I know Evey is capable of amazing things,” said Martin. "Everyone on the mountain was so nice and offered her words of encouragement."

After a celebratory lunch they headed down, but she soon realised it was not going to be an easy descent.

Martin said: "By the end, it took everything she had mentally and physically, but she kept going and I’m so proud of her. Evey is one of the youngest people in the UK to complete Ben Nevis with a congenital heart disease.

“I struggle to speak about it without crying. It was amazing to be able to do it together.”

He said Evey has been filled with a sense of achievement and plans to climb more of the 282 Scottish Munros .