Thursday, 23 September, 2021

Man walks on aircraft wings in memory of late wife

Man walks on aircraft wings in memory of late wife

An 80-year-old former British paramedic has walked on the wings of an aircraft for his latest fundraiser in memory of his late wife, reports BBC.

John Stanley vowed he would do all he could to repay the hospice for looking after his late wife Pam.

North Devon Hospice cared for her when terminally ill with pancreatic cancer before her death in 2008.

Stanley has previously abseiled, skydived and ridden a motorbike the length of the country to raise funds. He said this was the perfect way to celebrate turning 80.

Stanley was working as a paramedic based in Barnstaple, north Devon, when he met his wife.

“She was in A&E on the desk, and there was always a bit of banter between the paramedics and medical staff.

“We got chatting, she was divorced and one thing led to another - it came to the Christmas A&E do, and she invited me to come with her.

“It went on from there and, eventually, we got married.”

The couple were together for 25 years before her death.

“I promised her when she was terminally ill that I would repay the hospice by doing things for them,” he said.

“I’ve worked in their shops, I’ve gone out with vans and picked up furniture for their shops, and I’ve worked at the hospice serving meals to the patients and done maintenance work there.”

Stanley has raised thousands of pounds for the charity over the years, including riding an old motorbike from Land’s End to John O’Groats, doing several abseils and a skydive.

He was inspired to try the wing walk at Dunkeswell Airfield, Honiton, after seeing somebody carry out the feat on television.

Stanley, who served with the RAF before joining the NHS, said he started singing while wing walking and plans to do it all again for his 90th birthday.

He said he did not know where he would be without his current wife Annie, who supports him with all of his fundraising efforts.

A keen motorcyclist, Stanley plans to continue with his fundraising and is looking for new ideas.

“I would like to go zip-wiring in north Wales,” he said.