A Hastings resident is taking a charity skydive challenge of a lifetime in memory of her grandmother who died suddenly two years ago.
Hannah Louise Allen, 20, plans to take the 15,000ft skydive at Headcorn Airfield on June 25 to raise money for national charity Heart Research UK. Her grandmother, Cilla, died of heart failure in April 2014 and Hannah says her untimely death made a big impact on her and her family. “My nan’s death was very sudden,” she said. “After she died, she was found by family members in her kitchen. As the death was sudden, a post mortem was held. The results of the post mortem showed that she had died of heart disease.”
Hannah says she was extremely close to her nan but no one knew that she was so ill. “She was really down to earth and outgoing. We never noticed anything wrong with her heart before. Whenever she was poorly, we’d make an appointment for her to see a doctor. A little while later she would ring the doctor to cancel her appointment, saying that she didn’t need to go.”
Around 900,000 women are living with coronary heart disease in the UK and women are three times more likely to die of heart disease than breast cancer. Heart Research UK advise woman over 40 to think about getting their cholesterol and blood pressure checked, to assess their risk of heart disease developing.
Hannah says as a result of her nan’s heart disease she has become more aware and mindful of her lifestyle, adding: “I’m trying to make a few positive changes to my life.”
Hannah will be harnessed to a British Parachute Association qualified instructor for her tandem skydive and enjoy an exhilarating one minute free fall whilst witnessing breath-taking views.
Hannah says she hopes to raise over £500 for Heart Research UK. “I’ve always liked the idea of doing a skydive - but I’ve always been too scared, she said. “When I saw the opportunity to jump, and support a heart charity, it gave me the extra push to do it.
“I’ll have plenty of moral support on the day as my family are coming to watch. My mum is pretty nervous – she will be watching through the gaps in her fingers.
“Luckily I’m not scared of heights or flying so I’m not too nervous. It’s the cold that I’m not looking forward to, which is why I’ve decided to jump in June.
“As I jump my nan will be on my mind.”
The money Hannah raises will contribute to pioneering research into heart disease to help people live happier, healthier and longer lives.
Heart Research UK have organised skydives at 20, easy-to-reach locations around the UK. For a list of airfield locations for skydives or for more details visit: http://www.heartresearch.org.uk/events/skydiveHeart