Wing walker Jean raises nearly £4k

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A PENSIONER from East Preston has raised thousands for the British Heart Foundation after carrying out a death defying wing walk earlier this year.

At the presentation event, Jean handed a cheque for £3,676.54 over to Jane Ramage, chairman of Bognor Regis and Chichester BHF branch, and Kathrine Maynard, fundraising manager for BHF.

The Littlehampton Golf Clyb ladies’ captain performed the challenge in June this year.

She undertook the wing walk in aid of the British Heart Foundation’s Mending Broken Hearts appeal.

The BHF is particuarly close to Jean’s heart.

Brian, Jean’s husband of 32 years, died four years ago from heart failure following a stroke.

To raise funds for the BHF, Jean was strapped to the top of a plane and went whizzing through the sky to raise funds.

She reached speeds of around 90 mph while atop the Boeing-Stearman craft at the Goodwood Aerodrome.

She said: “It was very exhilarating. I loved it.

“The wind was unbelievable. I could barely lift my arms.”

“Being the age I am, I remember standing in the garden at Epsom watching them fighting in the sky.

“I have always had an enormous love for Spitfires.”

In order to do the walk, Jean waived her right to insurance and had to produce a doctor’s note declaring her fit.

The flight lasted 15 minutes and Jean was cheered on by her sister and members of her golf club.

No stranger to the skies, Jean learned to fly in the mid sixties.

However, a combination of cost and lack of time meant she did not keep it up.

Her next goal is to fly as passenger in a Spitfire.

For more information about the research that the British Heart Foundation supports, visit www.bhf.org.uk/life-saving-research.

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