Terrified of flying? Then do a skydive
5:30am Saturday 14th June 2014 in By Elizabeth Mackley
“THEY didn’t think I could do it,” said mum Theresa Carpenter, who conquered her greatest fear when she took on a skydive for the MS Society.
Theresa is terrified of being out of control, and needs to take prescribed medication every time she takes a flight just to keep her nerves in check.
So when her friends found out that she had signed up to do a skydive with her 26-year-old daughter, Jenna, they gave her £800 in sponsorship money to see her go through with it.
The 49-year-old from Pinehurst, who usually has to take valium to calm her nerves during a flight, said: “There are a few people in my family who have Multiple Sclerosis and they are always doing things to raise money for charity and I wanted to do something. They suggested I do a skydive so I said I would and I just thought I would cancel it later on.
“But then I started getting sponsorship money and I just thought, well I can’t let them down now.
“They did cancel it the first day that I signed up for, so I hoped maybe I wouldn’t have to do it.”
But then the second day, May 25, came around and Theresa realised she would actually have to go through with the dive.
She said: “We got there at about 12pm and they said they didn’t have us on the list. So I thought to myself, well that’s all right we don’t have to do it.
“But instead they said we would have to go at the end of the day.
“Most of the people who went up came down again but for one woman they had to call the paramedics out, and then an ambulance turned up and I started getting quite scared, thinking that it could be me.
“I kept asking Dylan – the guy I was attached to, because it was a tandem skydive – how long it was going to take and he said it would be between 60 seconds and six minutes depending on whether the parachute opened or not. And I asked him how many times he had done this and he said twice.
“I think he knew how scared I was and was just joking.”
Before too long Theresa had shuffled to the open door and was out in the sky above Swindon.
She said: “There was 60 seconds of freefall and I kept my eyes shut for that, but then he opened the parachute.
“It was so quiet and peaceful up there. I absolutely loved it. I wanted to do it again.
“I am so pleased I did it in the end.
“I want to fly a microlite next.”
Theresa, who works at BD Packing in Dorcan Way, said that she could not have done it without the support of her friends family and colleagues.
She said: “I just want to say thank you to everyone that sponsored me.
“I think they sponsored me because they didn’t think I could do it, but I did and it will go to a really good cause.”