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Issue 326 – Wheelchair-bound mum’s charity skydive adventure

A LOCAL woman, who has to spend the majority of her time in a wheelchair, is undertaking a skydive to raise money for the ‘Cots for Tots’ appeal at Bristol Children’s Hospital.

Karen Stewart will take the plunge at Redlands Farm in Swindon on the 10th of September to mark her 40th birthday and to raise money for the appeal, which will celebrate its 10th anniversary this year.
Karen said, “Although I am a little nervous, I believe in challenging myself and many people in wheelchairs have skydived. I just hope that I don’t embarrass myself!
“I thought it would be a great way to combine fulfilling a lifelong ambition and raising money for a fantastic cause at the same time. I also thought that it would be a great way to mark my 40th birthday.”
Karen’s son, James, suffers from neurofibromatosis, a genetically-inherited disorder in which the nerve tissue grows tumours and may cause serious damage by compressing nerves or other tissue. James has been a patient at Bristol Children’s Hospital since the age of two. Along with this, James also has problems with his leg that would mean that it would almost certainly fracture and be very difficult to heal due to a diseased bone. He has had several operations and is currently wearing a fixator on his leg, which will hopefully allow enough stability for the bone to heal fully.
“James has received the most wonderful care at Bristol Children’s Hospital under the care of Mr Monsell,” said Karen, “and the new special care baby unit will allow many more parents to benefit from this excellent hospital.”
The Cots for Tots Appeal hopes to raise £1million to provide four life-saving cots and a new intensive care suite at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at St Michael’s Hospital Bristol and a family accommodation suite close by.
The unit cares for more than 600 babies every year from Bristol and all over the South West of England.
It is the only unit in the South West equipped and able to provide life-saving treatment, care and surgery at the highest level.
To sponsor Karen visit www.justgiving.com/karenstewart101 or contact her on 01373 451896, or for more information about the Cots for Tots Appeal visit www.cotsfortots.org.uk.

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