30/05/2023 | Press releases

Taking a 10,000 foot leap of faith

Courageous nursing staff will take a 10,000 foot leap of faith on Friday (2 June) when they jump from a plane to raise money for their patients and families.

The 18-strong team, who are based in the critical care unit at Colchester Hospital, will take to the skies above Wiltshire to complete tandem skydives alongside none other than the Parachute Regiment Red Devils Free Fall team.

The group of nurses and healthcare assistants (HCAs) took inspiration for their challenge from colleague Keith Cameron, a retired paratrooper better known as ‘Ned’ who started working as an HCA at the unit during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ned insisted if his colleagues were going to do the jump, they had to do it with the best, and he helped to arrange for them to take on the challenge alongside the Red Devils, the British Army’s parachute display team.

Maria Wallis, sister and nurse lead for critical care rehabilitation at Colchester Hospital, said: “I think we’re all feeling a mixture of trepidation and nerves, but everyone really wanted to do it. For some of us it’s a bucket list thing, and for others it’s more about the challenge.

“The money raised for critical care will fund equipment to help our patients with their often complicated recovery process and long term rehabilitation needs. It will also help pay for other facilities which will ensure their relatives and friends can be comfortable and looked after whilst their loved ones are in critical care.”

As well as raising money for the critical care unit, the team are also collecting donations for the Support Our Paras charity, which supports veterans, serving soldiers and families.

To donate to the critical care unit via Colchester & Ipswich Hospitals Charity, visit their Just Giving page.

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