A COUNTY man who suffered a serious head injury in a horror skiing accident five years ago is preparing for a whole new challenge by trekking to Everest Base Camp.

Nicholas Guest was a 17-year-old schoolboy when he smashed his head on the ground after falling while enjoying himself on the slopes at the Saas-Fee resort in Switzerland.

READ MORESchoolboy in hospital after serious skiing accident in Switzerland

Nicholas was rushed to a local hospital where he spent two weeks recovering after being placed in a coma and undergoing a lifesaving operation in January 2019.

He was then allowed to fly home by air ambulance, spending time at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh before continuing his rehabilitation at home with his family.

East Lothian Courier: Nicholas Guest in hospital

At the time, Nicholas was a promising rugby player while attending Preston Lodge High School and was planning on joining the RAF to train as a fighter pilot but, due to problems with his mobility, sight and speech, those plans had to be shelved.

READ MORETeenager recovers from skiing accident to referee his mum at rugby fun day

And though he continues to have issues with his speech and balance, Nicholas has fought back to start up his own dog training business and is now making plans to make the arduous trek to base camp at the highest mountain in the world.

Nicholas, now 22, is currently in training to climb the 17,500 feet to the mountain’s base camp along with an eight-strong group of people also affected by a serious acquired brain injury.

East Lothian Courier: Nicholas Guest

Nicholas, who moved to Prestonpans from Tranent last year, said: “I recently gave a talk about my recovery to about 80 people at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh which was organised by the Scottish Head Injury Forum.

“During that, I got chatting to someone who was connected to the Everest expedition and he asked if I would like to become involved. I jumped at the chance.

“It is going to be a wonderful experience and I am really looking forward to it.

"I’ve met up with the group I’m going with and we have been in training by going on 10-mile walks to get up to speed.

“I am quite a fit person and very physically active anyway, and go to the gym three times a week and do a lot of walking and swimming.

East Lothian Courier: Nicholas Guest

“The only thing I can’t really train for will be the exposure to the altitude but I am sure as a group we will cope alright. It’s going to be fun.

“The expedition will definitely have its challenges but I do a lot of weight training so physically I should be in good shape for it.”

Nicholas admits he still feels the repercussions of his accident, including having ongoing problems with judging distances and a lack of feeling down his right side.

He added: “Having a slight problem with my sight will prove problematic when I’m coming down the mountain but life is full of challenges to be overcome.

“I didn’t just want to be known as the boy who was in a coma and, even though I have to be careful with any knocks to the head, I certainly don’t bubble wrap myself in any way.

East Lothian Courier: Nicholas Guest

“I have worked really hard to recover and, though I had to give up my ambition to train as a fighter pilot with the RAF, I have now started up my own dog training business with around 30 customers, which I really love.”

The expedition to Everest Base Camp in November is being organised by The Little Sherpa Foundation and the brain injury association Headway.

James Lamb, co-founder of The Little Sherpa Foundation, said: “Our charity has a trekking agency which will be responsible for all the logistics involved in Nepal.

“This undertaking will involve massive personal challenges outwith the brain injury, plus requiring the group to bond together as an extraordinary team.

“We hope this will put a spotlight on individuals dealing with life-changing difficulties and hidden disabilities, as well as their families.

“Our aim is to inspire people all over the world that there is life and support after brain injury.”

Go to gofundme.com/f/heading-to-everest to donate to the challenge.