A Malpas woman was so determined to raise money for the charity that supports her sick grandson, she shed two stone to be fit enough to do a skydive.
Despite being terrified of heights, Gill Murton, 61, set her mind on doing a skydive as a personal challenge, and because it was ‘the least’ she could do after the challenges her six-year-old grandson Khalid Lafdil has faced since being born with cerebral palsy that left him unable to walk.
But at 5’1, Gill was told she needed to be a certain weight to meet skydiving requirements, so decided to ‘re-educate’ her eating patterns by joining Slimming World, and lost two stone in order to do the feat in October.
Gill told The Chronicle it was a ‘challenge’ to lose the weight because she loves food, but that ‘everything was worth it’ for Khalid, of Blacon, because of the determination the boy has shown since undergoing a life-changing operation this year.
The crippling cerebral palsy he was born with affected his legs and meant he had to wear splints on both feet, being in constant pain for most of his life. He also endured muscle spasms, lack of speech and had to be spoon-fed certain foods.
But since his selective dorsal rhizotomy operation, Khalid’s getting stronger by the day, and although it’ll take a while for him to fully walk, he’s learning the skills with help of a physio.
Throughout, Khalid’s family, including Gill, Khalid’s mum Ally and her partner Harry, have been on a mission to raise £15,000 for The Tree of Hope, a charity providing hope for families of sick children in the UK who need specialist medical surgery, and so far have raised £12,275.
But because Khalid’s treatment is costing more than anticipated, Gill wants to raise as much as possible from her skydive, which she’ll do in Whitchurch.
“I’ve never done anything this extreme before, I’m terrified of heights and always have been - it’s a phobia has followed me all my life,” she said. “I want to raise more for Khalid’s charity, as he responds better to treatment at home. Everything’s worth it for Khalid – I love him so much.”
Khalid’s mum Ally added: “Mum’s incredible. She’s always been petrified of heights so to do a sky dive is amazing. She’s been so focused on losing two stone to get medically signed off and she’s done it. She’s inspirational and the whole family are so proud of her.”
To donate to Khalid's appeal, visit https://www.justgiving.com/khalidsheroes/