Brixham skydiver Stacey conquers her fear for charity
THE most terrifying thing I have ever done in my life - that's how Brixham charity skydiver Stacey Parker described her plunge from a plane over the Devon countryside.
Stacey took on the skydive to raise funds for Cystic Fibrosis research and treatment, inspired by her sister Keeley, who suffers from the condition.
Stacey, who confesses to being terrified of flying, said: "I am so proud of everything that Keeley is, and everything that she has achieved. She is a true inspiration."
Stacey, 44, was determined that her fear of flying wouldn't stop her from taking on the challenge.
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She said: "Getting me into a plane is a challenge all of its own! None of my family like to travel with me as I have been known to cry, and sometimes even scream."
For the tandem jump at Dunkeswell, she was strapped to an instructor and jumped from 15,000 feet. During the freefall section of the jump, they plummeted for two miles at 120mph.
She said she arrived at Dunkeswell airfield feeling scared, sick and emotional, but determined not to let her family, friends and supporters down.
Husband Steve and daughter Jaz were there to see the jump, while son Joe was unable to get down from his home in Suffolk but stayed in touch by phone.
"I had to remember to smile for the cameras in the aeroplane," she said.
"I felt sick, but I was going to smile for my little sister.
"Nothing could have prepared me for the free fall, then suddenly there was a pulling over my shoulders and a tugging sensation around my thighs reminding me how tight the harness was.
"The chute was deployed and there was suddenly a calm, quiet feeling taking over.
"It was a much smoother landing than I thought, although my legs had turned to jelly.
"I wanted to cry with relief that I had made it, all in one piece, and I wasn't sick.
"I can't thank Jason the instructor enough for everything he had done. He was such a lovely bloke.
"It was a day I will remember for as long as I live."
Stacey, who lives at Furzeham and is a full-time carer, has raised more than £1,300 so far and it still hoping to raise more.
She added: "I'd like to thank friends and family for all their support and donations, as well as people from Facebook and Twitter that I've never even met!
"I have been overwhelmed by their kindness and generosity."