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Parachute jump for hospital

PUBLISHED: 15:47 01 September 2008 | UPDATED: 14:41 07 July 2010

It was a case of fourth time lucky for Kevin Mackay on Sunday as he finally did a parachute jump from 13,000ft to raise money for a hospital which saved his daughter's life.

It was a case of fourth time lucky for Kevin Mackay on Sunday as he finally did a parachute jump from 13,000ft to raise money for a hospital which saved his daughter's life.

Unsuitable weather conditions had thwarted three other attempts - including one on Saturday.

But it was worth the wait for the 35-year-old from Toftwood as he leapt into the skies above Old Buckenham Airfield, near Attleborough.

“It has been fantastic,” was his simple summary of the five-minute journey down to the ground.

“It was a one-off and I had a sense of relief and euphoria when I got down. It was something I never thought I would get the opportunity to do but I'm glad I've done it.”

Mr Mackay said he was most nervous as the plane reached 6000ft but he said the instructors put his mind at rest.

He was in freefall for about 50 seconds at a speed of around 125ft when he first jumped out before his parachute opened.

“The next time I go up in a plane I will come down in one too!” he joked.

Mr Mackay hopes to raise about £2000 for Great Ormond Street Hospital, which saved the life of his eight-month-old daughter Tiana.

He and his partner Lisa King thought they were going to lose Tiana, who was born with a rare heart condition.

Tiana was born at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital last December but when the couple took her for a post natal check six weeks later the GP found that she had a heart murmur.

It was discovered that the baby was born with two heart defects a very rare one called Alcapa meaning the coronary artery was in the wrong place and also another defect mitral regurgitation which required immediate surgery at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London.

Her first operation took place at the beginning of March and then she had to go in for a second a few weeks later. Her health had deteriorated and doctors did not think she was going to survive.

But Tiana defied all expectations and her health improved considerably after the second operation. She is now at home where she is being weaned.

Her parents have set up a website to raise awareness of Tiana's condition and anyone interested in helping Lisa and Kevin with their fundraising appeal can do so via their website www.bravetiana.co.uk

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