Covid-19 survivor: Skydive tops bucket list as Worthing woman vows to change her life

Worthing power network supervisor Sarah Singleton was hit hard by Covid-19 and after she survived, she wrote a bucket list to change her life.

Tuesday, 17th August 2021, 4:44 pm
Updated Tuesday, 17th August 2021, 4:50 pm

Top of the list was a 15,000ft skydive with her son Samuel, followed by giving up alcohol, daily running, yoga sessions and working out with a personal trainer once a week.

Sarah, 47, is a field staff supervisor at UK Power Networks, helping to keep power flowing across Sussex. She originally arranged the skydive trip for Samuel as a present but the pandemic put the trip on hold and then when Sarah recovered from Covid-19 herself, she decided to join him.

She said: “My life has changed in a big way since I caught Covid last August. I was gobsmacked by how much it affected me, while my partner and children were fine. I realised life is short so I’m going to lead a healthier life and challenge myself, so I devised my bucket list.”

Sarah Singleton and her son Samuel

She chose to support Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice near Arundel and has raised more than £1,100.

Sarah said: “We have all been affected in some way by Covid-19 but for many of us, our lives can go back to normal and for some of these young people and their families life will never go back to normal.”

After a nerve-racking ascent to nearly three miles high, the plane doors opened and mum and son faced a minute of freefall before the parachutes opened and they floated back to earth.

Sarah said: “The journey up felt like an age, all of the novice skydivers busy in our own thoughts, which was the scariest moment. Suddenly the door was opened and the temperature dropped.

“My son edged towards the door and in a second was gone, then it was my turn. My feet dangled over the edge and I could see the ground 15,000ft below.

“Then I was out of the plane, with my instructor, freefalling at 125mph towards the ground. The sensations are intense, it’s truly incredible and all the scary feelings went, it was pure exhilaration.

“In no time at all the parachute opened and we glided safely down towards a beautiful map of fields and towns. People talk about how skydiving feels like a freedom, the likes of which they have never experienced, and this was so true. It is by far the best adventure I have ever experienced and needless to say I would do it again in a heartbeat.

“My friends at UK Power Networks have been so generous with sponsorship and people have donated whatever they can, up to phenomenal amounts. They’ve been brilliant and I’ve had lovely comments from colleagues, some of whom I don’t even know.”

UK Power Networks offers up to £100 match funding to support employees with fundraising events.

Sarah said: “During Covid, charities have really struggled and I particularly wanted to support a local charity because I think they have struggled the most. I have a soft spot for this charity because children are so innocent and some who are cared for by Chestnut Tree House do not have a long life.

“This charity gives families who know they don’t have long together the chance to live life to the full and say goodbye in the way that is right for them. They offer activity days, short breaks, end-of-life care, and ongoing bereavement support for the whole family.”

To support Sarah’s skydive visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sarah-singleton15

Alison Taylor, corporate fundraising manager, said: “We are so grateful to Sarah and Samuel for choosing to fundraise for Chestnut Tree House. The last 18 months have been difficult for us all but families with children with life-shortening or life-threatening conditions have had their own challenges to face.

“We can only be there for the families who need us thanks to your ongoing generosity and support. The money Sarah and Samuel have raised from this skydive challenge is enough to give a child an overnight stay at Chestnut Tree House, where they can spend their day exploring the woodland walk or getting messy with arts and crafts whilst having their medical needs taken care of by our specialist team.”