Making memories reach new heights

Skydive for St Luke’s

Launching yourself out of a plane at 15,000ft may seem daunting to many, but for one granddaughter, losing both her grandparents gave her the motivation and fearlessness that she needed.

Carys Macaskill, from Plympton, recently took part in a skydive for St Luke’s and it was her grandparents who were at the forefront of her thoughts as she took that leap of faith.

The 19-year-old’s grandparents, Kevin and Rosemary Marshall, were both cared for by St Luke’s teams at home in the last year.

Me and my grandparents were genuinely best friends

Speaking to Carys, it is clear that her grandparents were more than just family to her.

“Me and my grandparents were genuinely best friends,” she says.

Carys fondly remembers her grandad’s ‘lovely Yorkshire accent’, never lost despite living down in Plympton for the last 25 years, alongside childhood memories of weekly visits to their house.

“Every Friday night me and my brother used to go and stay at their house, watch Crystal Maze and go down to the sweet shop.

“Growing up, my nana and I became so close, she helped me with my mental health, made sure I was looked after. We used to go for coffee all the time and since I left school, I would be with her three times a week. We were very, very close, like best friends, especially since losing grandad.”

Carys’ grandad died in May last year, on the first day of her A Levels Carys remembers, while her nana died on 4 April this year.

St Luke’s care at home

Carys recalls the care they both received as they approached their final days. Her grandad received care from our at home nurses, easing the burden on her nana who was caring for him.

“She was really struggling as she had lost her mum the year before. She had cared for her for a very long time, one to one and tried her best for her, then as soon as grandad got diagnosed she was an absolute state because she was really trying to do it all.

“It was a major relief for her, as it meant she could still do things, like we took her out for her 70th birthday even though grandad was really poorly. St Luke’s did absolutely everything they could for them.”

Carys’ nana was also able to stay at home when she got ill, with regular visits from our nurses, until her health worsened and she needed to receive further care at Derriford Hospital.

Skydive for hospice care

Having had to say goodbye to both her grandparents in the last year, Carys wanted to fundraise for St Luke’s so that others in a similar situation could receive the same care that she witnessed for both of them.

It was receiving a voucher for a skydive for her 18th birthday that she had never ended up using, that set the wheels in motion.

“My intention was to always do it for grandad, then as soon as nana fell ill, I booked it and made sure I had a date in and set up a Gofundme page. Now I was doing it for both of them it became twice as important than before.”

Carys’ dad Scott joined her on her jump from the skies. The pair have already raised more than £2,150, which will enable our nurses to provide their care to more local families, allowing more time for memories to be made.

Tattoo tributes

As a touching tribute to her grandparents, Carys decided to make her memories of them both a little more permanent by getting tattoos of her favourite photos with them, capturing a precious moment in time. She initially got a tattoo of her grandfather and her in December. On falling ill, Carys spent time with her nana choosing a suitable photo of them both for her next tattoo. She was even able to go and visit her straight after getting it done, filling her in on the amount of money she had raised so far. This visit was a memorable one for Carys, as less than 24 hours later Rosemary died.

With the skydive just two weeks after, Carys thrust all her emotion and grief into it, turning her back on any fears or anxiety that go hand in hand with completing a skydive.

“It was absolutely amazing, genuinely the best thing I’ve ever done,” Carys says.

“To be honest I don’t think I was really that nervous because the money we raised motivated us. I’m quite an anxious person anyway in the day to day but because it was something that meant so much, I don’t think I really cared, all I cared about was doing it and raising the money.”

Skydive for St Luke’s

If Carys has inspired you to take on a skydive in aid of St Luke’s then please get in touch and book yours today.

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