See Salford pensioner’s incredible 11,000ft skydive in memory of partner who was cared for at St Ann’s Hospice
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This incredible video shows a daredevil Salford pensioner completing a skydive from 11,000 ft in memory of his late partner - before joking ‘thank God for solid ground’.
Heartwarming footage shows Tom Lowery, 76, leaping from the aircraft, waving and putting his thumbs up to the camera above the skies in Salford. The sprightly septuagenarian took the plunge to raise funds for St Ann’s Hospice in Greater Manchester. The hospice cared for his partner Joan Lyons, 78, who died last March from a brain tumour.
Before the jump, Tom said he was ‘looking forward to it’, but after completing the challenge he said he was ‘glad to be back on solid ground.’
Upon landing, the army veteran, who served in the Royal Signals, said: “I really enjoyed it, it was incredible, absolutely incredible – but I’m so glad to be back on solid ground. I loved it, but if I do anything else for charity it’ll be marathons, not another jump.”
Asked what his favourite part was, he said: “Landing.” The retired HGV driver decided to raise money for St Ann’s Hospital in Little Hulton because of the ‘excellent care’ Joan received from the hospice.
Joan, who was with Tom for 24 years, died after a three-month battle with a brain tumour in March last year. Tom said: “I wanted to take on a challenge for Joan so that I could show my appreciation to St Ann’s for all the support they gave us. Joan had been ill for three months with a brain tumour. She received excellent care from St Ann’s Hospice despite being in the throws of the latter months of the pandemic.”
Tom, who has previously bungee jumped three times, added: “We all want to raise as much money as possible for such a great cause that supported Joan. Her last days were spent peacefully at the hospice and their incredible staff provided our family with kindness, support and a much-needed sense of peace at the end of her life.”
Tom has prostate cancer so was unable to take on a 24-hour walk or marathon, as the medication would make him ‘too weak.’
So instead, he decided to take on a sky dive as it’s ‘the next best thing.’ Speaking before the jump, Tom said: “I have prostate cancer so the drugs that I’m on have made me too weak to take on a 24 hour walk or a marathon. This is the next best thing I can do; I’ve never done a parachute jump before so I’m very excited.”
Joan’s daughter Julie Bennion said her mum would be ‘extremely proud’ of Tom. She said: “He’s a real breath of fresh air and we’re extremely proud of him… as mum would be.”
Anne-Marie Wynee, the head of fundraising at the charity, said: “We are so delighted that Tom completed his amazing challenge to raise money for St Ann’s Hospice – he’s braver than all of us.
“Every single donation makes a difference and helps us to continue providing the vital care and support to all those who visit our hospice.”
Visit Just Giving here to donate to Tom’s fundraising.