Stone woman with fear of heights does charity skydive

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Image source, Helen Pickford
Image caption,
Helen Pickford said the skydive was a "once-in-a-lifetime experience"

A woman with a fear of heights who did a skydive for charity said it was a "once-in-a-lifetime experience".

Helen Pickford, from Stone, Staffordshire, confirmed the feat was "not happening again".

The 69-year-old jumped on Thursday in aid of Brain Tumour Research after the death of her husband in 2001.

"It was surreal, phenomenal, but not for the faint-hearted," she said afterwards.

Mrs Pickford, who has 11 grandchildren, had been aiming to do the skydive in June to mark what would have been her husband's 70th birthday, but bad weather forced two delays.

Her husband John died four days after his 49th birthday after being diagnosed with a brain tumour in September 2000.

Image source, Helen Pickford
Image caption,
Staff at the airfield kept her calm in the plane before the dive, Mrs Pickford said

Mrs Pickford's family went with her to the airfield and watched her descent which she said felt "pretty hairy" but she praised those on the plane as "they were fantastic, kept me calm".

While "it seemed to take a very long time to get down", her efforts have seen her raise more than £7,500 for the charity.

Mrs Pickford said she wanted to help anyone or their family who gets a brain tumour diagnosis to face it like she did.

"Yes you'll be scared but you knew there were fantastic people around you with the treatment to get you to the other side and you go back to your normal life and that's what I want," she said.

Image source, Helen Pickford
Image caption,
Mrs Pickford has a fear of heights but wanted to raise money after her husband's death from a brain tumour
Image source, Helen Pickford
Image caption,
Having completed the skydive, Mrs Pickford said it was "not happening again"

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