His guide decided that, for Mr Cranston’s safety, he would not be allowed to continue his climb and he was sent down to a lower level.
“I think they probably didn’t want to carry me down,” said Mr Cranston. “Apparently I was walking on the spot with my eyes closed. Hudson, our guide, was shouting in my face and shining a light in my eyes before he got any reaction. That was when he took the lifesaving decision to take me back down.”
Acute Mountain Sickness is not fully understood. There is no correlation with the age, sex or fitness of those who are affected. It is caused by a shortage of oxygen to the brain and if left untreated is fatal.
“I went straight in at the ataxia stage which is when the brain starts to shut down and you lose physical coordination and the ability to act rationally.” said Mr Cranston.
The former Army officer decided to climb Mount Kilimanjaro and raise money for three charities to mark his 60th birthday. He climbed 83% of the mountain before he was taken down.
He trained for more than six months in preparation. “My fitness didn’t cause me any trouble. I walked seven hours a day for seven days and didn’t have any aches or pains. That is down to my trainer James Darby at The Fitness Mill in Thrupp.”
The councillor, who represents Central ward, has so far raised more than £3,700 for his three chosen charities – the Olkimatare School in Kenya, SSAFA (Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association) and the Stroud-based Marah Trust.
“Everyone has been so generous and I am thrilled that I have raised so much. Anyone who would still like to support these worthy causes can still do so,” said Mr Cranston.
You can donate online via uk.virginmoneygiving.com/KC2 or by BACS direct transfer to Ac No 51009360 Sort Code 30-98-29 or send a cheque payable to “KC2”, C/o Berkeley House, Paganhill Lane, Stroud, Gloucestershire, GL5 4JJ.