A MAN left virtually paralysed by Motor Neurone Disease has completed his latest daring challenge to raise awareness of the condition, abseiling off the Humber Bridge.
The wind was so strong it almost stopped Jason Liversidge and his wife Liz completing the stunt on Sunday, but they did so, and smashed their fundraising target.
Father-of-two Mr Liversidge, from Rise in the East Riding, completed the challenge with the help of firefighters from Bridlington Fire Station, who earlier this year took part in an innovative research project to record their voices so that, when the time comes, Mr Liversidge can speak with his own unique Yorkshire accent when he has to rely on a computer voice synthesizer full time.
Firefighter Paul Burchett, who organised his colleagues to help Mr Liversidge, also took part in the abseil, which had to secure the support of the Humber Bridge Board to go ahead.
They had hoped to raise £3,000, to be split between the Motor Neurone Disease Association, which Mr Liversidge and his family has supported since his diagnosis, and the Fire Fighter’s Charity, but look set to raise more than £5,500.
Mrs Liversidge said the total was boosted when her husband pledged to do the abseil dressed in a Spiderman suit should he reach £2,000 - to which a family from Stratford Upon Avon, who had been affected by Motor Neurone Disease, immediately responded - gifting £1,000 and travelling to Hull to watch the stunt.
“The support has been incredible,” she said. “There was a crowd of around 100 people below us and people came out of their houses to watch.
“It was very windy and the Humber Bridge Board said if it hit 20 miles per hour we would not be able to do it. It reached 19 miles per hour but everyone was determined to make it happen for Jason’s sake.”
The challenge had a tricky start when the angle at which Mr Liversidge was initially hoisted over the edge of the bridge at meant he could not keep his head up, so he was winched back up and adjustments were made before the abseil was attempted again.
Anyone wishing to donate can still do so at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/humberbridge