Mount Teide challenge: Former Birchwood High School student Brandon Atkins climbs world's third highest volcano 10 months on from serious footballing injury
A former Birchwood High School student reached the top of the world's third highest volcano in a charity climb that 10 months ago would have seemed impossible.
Laying crippled in bed last June following a serious footballing injury, Brandon Atkins, 20, had just undergone reconstructive knee surgery which usually takes up to a year to repair.
But on April 21, after spending almost three months in Tenerife on a whale and dolphin conservation project, he completed an overnight challenge to scale Mount Teide, which at 3,715m (12,188ft) is the highest point in Spain.
Keen conservationist Brandon has so far raised £427 for UK charity the Fair Earth Foundation and its 'Plant a Tree, Fund a Dream' project to plant one million trees worldwide in 2022.
In a video recorded from the top of the volcano, Brandon, whose family live in Little Canfield, said: "I just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone that has shared or donated or supported me on my journey.
"I never thought a year ago, lying in bed with my crippled knee, that I would be able to climb a mountain. It's a big achievement. Thank you to everyone for helping."
His older brother Louis, 23, accompanied him on the hike, which had been postponed once due to high winds.
Mum Karen said: "Brandon, Louis and two other volunteers completed the mountain hike, setting off at 11pm-ish and reaching the top around 11am the next day.
"I hadn't realised they were climbing throughout the night and with no guide to show them the route, so was really worried.
"They did find a hut up the mountain on route and stopped for a break as the winds were bitterly cold. But they're safely back now and what an amazing accomplishment."
She said her usually fit and active son's ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) had been badly torn and the only option to repair it was surgery.
"It was a high-grade tear that doesn't heal by itself. He's a tall lad at 6ft 5in and likes to keep fit. He had physio right up until he went travelling."
Mount Teide is an active volcano which last erupted in 1909. It was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2007 and is the most visited national park in Europe. Brandon's justgiving.com page is still open for donations.