"All I did was fall out!" Birstall 81-year-old completes 10,000ft skydive for grandson's friend
A father of a teenager battling muscular dystrophy has delivered heartfelt thanks to a Birstall pensioner who jumped out of a place to help buy vital equipment.
Stephen Chadwick, 81, completed the daring sky-dive on Saturday as a means of fundraising for 17-year-old William Jackson (inset), who is a friend of his grandson.
The incredible feat puts William’s family over £2,000 closer towards the purchase of a new £8,000 wheelchair that would provide William with more independance as he exits his teenage years.
And Stewart Jackson, William’s father, gave an emotional account of what Steven’s efforts mean to the family.
He said: “A power chair will make such a huge difference to my son’s everyday life. Something as simple as getting around outside the house is a really big deal for him as at the moment he’s a little reliant on others.
“He’s at the age now that he wants to do as much as possible independently. Being supported by your parents at that sort of age is obviously far from ideal - this will give him the freedom to get around and do his own thing.
“We can’t thank Steven enough. He’s such a lovely man and what he’s done for William is incredible.”
Steven, who has lived in Birstall for over 20 years, also completed the jump in memory of his brother, who died from muscular dystrophy in 1962.
He said: “The advances they’ve made are incredible. I’ve known William since he was seven or eight years old and the difference between him and my brother is enormous.
“I hope getting this chair is life-changing for him. I hope he can get around by himself and knock about with his friends, not having to rely on his parents. I was thinking about that on the way down.”
The 81-year-old, who suffers from diabetes, thanked friends, family and neighbours for donations.
“It’s not like I’ve gone around with a begging bowl,” he said, “people have been getting off their backsides and have come round to my house to give me money for this.
“That’s so humbling and I’ve been stunned by it. All I did was fall out of a place like a bit of luggage!”