ANDREA CHARLTON didn’t hesitate when she was given the chance to be a daredevil.
Being 71-years-old didn’t phase her. After all, her wing-walking expedition high in the skies above Yorkshire was for a cause very close to her heart.
She was doing the stunt in memory of her son Andy Charlton, a former Leeds University student who died in a cycling accident in Tynedale in Northumbria in August.
And while standing on the wings of a plane might scare people half her age, Mrs Charlton said she was unperturbed.
“It was for a good cause,” she said.
“Things like this don’t frighten me, anyway.
“I did wonder if it might go ahead, because it was quite windy but the pilot said the wind wouldn’t be a problem.
“I thought the landing might be a little bumpy but it wasn’t.
“We touched down beautifully. It was brilliant. I just can’t believe I have done it.
“My son would be so proud of me, I hope.
“This is something I have long wanted to do and I am so pleased to have done it.
“And for to help a good cause, then so much the better.”
Her expedition took place above the aerodrome at Breighton near Selby in North Yorkshire to raise awareness of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.
Joining her on the mission was her daughter Amanda Charlton, sister of Andy.
He was a father of three, 11-week-old twins Eleanor and Chloe and son Oscar aged two who suffers from cystic fibrosis.
“Raising money for the trust was a very good reason for doing this,” said Mrs Charlton, formerly of Morley, near Leeds, and who now lives nin Heysham near Lancaster.
Mr Charlton, 43, a full-time father and former disc jockey, died when his bicycle was in collision with a car near Chollerton in Tynedale in August.
He had taken up cycling 18 months earlier with a view to getting Oscar interested in the past-time in years to come.
After studying at the University of Leeds he became a DJ, playing in clubs all over the country under the name Andy Jarrod.
Several music blogs have paid tribute to him, with one user on Bedrock saying, “Nearly anyone who made progressive house in the late 1990s and early 2000s probably had some form of business dealings with Andy.
“He was also a solid DJ too, having released several mix comps back in the day.”
He had told his family he wanted to be an organ donor and after he died five people had their lives saved.
His heart went to a teenager who had been on an urgent waiting list in hospital.
His lungs went to a middle-aged gentleman with a life-threatening lung condition.
His kidneys went to two middle-aged men who had been on the waiting list for six and seven years respectively – the latter of whom had been on a dialysis machine. And a woman got his bowels, stomach, liver and pancreas.
A letter received by Andy’s widow said that all the recipients appear to have responded well to the transplants.
• For more information about cystic fibrosis, a genetic condition in which the lungs and digestive system become clogged, visit cysticfibrosis.org.uk.
For more information about the NHS Organ Donation Register, visit organdonation.nhs.uk.
For the family’s JustGiving page, visit justgiving.com/Charltonfamily.