LEGIONNAIRE'S Disease survivor Karen Thomas, from New Inn, hopes her efforts in the Three Peaks Trial will help others who may need the expertise available in the critical care units of two South Wales hospitals.

The skills of staff in the units at Nevill Hall Hospital, Abergavenny, and at the University of Wales Hospital (UHW) in Cardiff, saved Mrs Thomas's life last summer as she spent two months in a coma after falling ill.

The 44-year-old schoolteacher set herself the daunting task of completing a 15-mile course in the annual challenge in the hills around Abergavenny, less than seven months after coming home from hospital.

She hopes to raise £1,000 or more to share between the two units, where staff fought to keep her alive after she fell ill at home last June.

Last year, prior to her illness, she completed the Three Peaks Trial for the charity set up in the name of Private Richard Hunt, from Abergavenny, who died on service in Afghanistan. But this year's effort was far tougher.

"On the Blorenge I looked over to the Sugar Loaf and thought 'how am I ever going to get up there?'" she said.

"It was very important to me to raise money for the hospitals. I had fantastic support from my son Eirian, relatives, friends and colleagues who came with me."

The Three Peaks Trial offers four routes - platinum, gold, silver and bronze.

Mrs Thomas completed the silver route involving two of the peaks, but has set her sights on the platinum challenge next year.