Caroline Meakin celebrates a special birthday in 2017, and to mark the occasion she wanted to do something different, something daring and something a little bit scary!!

She says, “I really wanted to do a bucket-list challenge. I wanted the experience and the thrill of doing something to push myself’ a skydive was perfect. I definitely wanted to do it for charity, and I definitely wanted to do it for The Donna Louise.”

Caroline has a special connection with the hospice. Her grandson, Tyler Sims, was diagnosed with Mitochondria Syndrome just after his 1st birthday, after failing to meet his developmental milestones. The whole family were devastated. The hospital suggested a referral to The Donna Louise and, at the first visit, they were overwhelmed by the welcome they received. Caroline explains, “Knowing that we had help from people who understood what we were going through was so important. The staff at the hospice made us feel like we weren’t alone. The Donna Louise was a lifeline for Tyler’s mum and sister, Kelly and Bethany, and for the rest of the family too.”

When Tyler’s condition worsened, The Donna Louise provided end-of-life care to him and the family. Caroline explains, “The support we got in the last few weeks of Tyler’s life was so important to us, the staff gave us precious time with Tyler to make lasting memories. It was a lovely, comfortable environment and we could all be there with Tyler. He got so much benefit from being surrounded by people who cared. The support was for us all, the whole family, and we were so grateful.”

It was the memory of that time, and the support of The Donna Louise, that made Caroline sign up to the skydive and raise money for the hospice. And, how was it? “It was great!” says Caroline, “The instructors were marvellous, they made us feel so at ease. I thoroughly enjoyed doing it and the fact that I raised money for the hospice doing it was wonderful.”

And what would Caroline say to other people who are thinking about doing a Donna Louise skydive? “Do it!! You don’t know what you are missing out on. It’s so much fun and it’s for such a good cause. It’s the experience of a lifetime. And The Donna Louise need the money so much. Do it, sign up today.”