Harrogate teenager's Skydive shatters goal to aid fight against rare disease

A Harrogate teenager has smashed her fund-raising target after diving 15,000ft through the sky in memory of her late mother.

Lizzy Elgie raised over 4,000 in aid of the Pulmonary Hypertension Association
Lizzy Elgie raised over 4,000 in aid of the Pulmonary Hypertension Association

Lizzy Elgie, 18, raised over £4,000 in aid of the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) with a sponsored skydive at the Skydive Hibaldstow in Lincolnshire, believed to be the longest freefall in the UK, on Thursday, June 28.

Originally aiming to raise £1,000, Lizzy says the funds will go towards helping raise the awareness of Pulmonary Hypertension (PH) and support those who suffer from it.PH, often misdiagnosed as asthma, is a condition which makes it difficult for blood to be carried to the lungs. It causes breathlessness and in some cases, like with Lizzy’s mum Claire, it can result in blackouts.

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Lizzy was just four-years-old the first time she had to call an ambulance for her mum. She said: “I was two when my mum was diagnosed, and this money will go towards helping other families learn about the condition. “I just feel so happy that I can help other people who might be in that same situation. As a young child it was not a great situation, but this money will go towards other families who are going through a similar experience, potentially on a daily basis.”

Clare died in 2011, she had been given two years to live but fought on for nine.

She received support from PHA consultants at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield, and the charity has educational and support networking events for patients and their families.

Encouraging others affected by PH to consider similar efforts, Lizzy said: “When I was younger I assumed that people knew about this disease, but no one really does, only around 5,500 people in the UK have it. “If you can raise awareness, get out there and promote a charity like this in your community, it all helps.”

She added: “With more awareness people might be more likely to recognise the symptoms and not think it is asthma. “There is no cure but they could get the treatment they need as soon as possible.”

Giving thanks to all who donated Lizzy said £1,000 was raised at a coffee morning organised with her Aunt, Amanda Gill, in Langthorpe. A further £1,000 was donated by the Boroughbridge and District Young Farmers Club, raised at their annual dinner dance in April.