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Grandmother to skydive and raise money for charity which helps detect heart problems in children

PUBLISHED: 10:30 06 February 2019 | UPDATED: 14:31 06 February 2019

Lilly Halfacre and her mother Cathy, who both had to have open heart surgery. Cathy is taking part in a charity skydive. Picture: Supplied by Lilly Halfacre

Lilly Halfacre and her mother Cathy, who both had to have open heart surgery. Cathy is taking part in a charity skydive. Picture: Supplied by Lilly Halfacre

Archant

A grandmother who was told last year that she had just weeks to live is part of a group that will skydive to raise money for charity.

Cathy Halfacre is taking part in a charity skydive to raise money for new equipment which detects heart defects in babies. Picture: Supplied by Lilly HalfacreCathy Halfacre is taking part in a charity skydive to raise money for new equipment which detects heart defects in babies. Picture: Supplied by Lilly Halfacre

Cathy Halfacre, 59, found out that she was suffering from coarctation of the aorta and a bicuspid aortic valve, a congenital heart condition, and had to undergo open heart surgery.

Her daughter Lilly, from Watton, and her grandaughter, who was born in September, also suffer from the same condition and Lilly also had to have open heart surgery when she was just 10 days old.

Cathy, who lives in Saham Toney, and friends Chantel Reynolds from Barnham Broom, Martin Rackham from Shipdham and Colleen Baxter from Hockering, are all taking part in the skydive on May 19 to raise money for Tiny Tickers, which aims to improve the early detection and care of babies with serious heart conditions.

Lilly Halfacre said: “So many babies leave hospital with an undetected heart condition which can be fatal in many cases.

“When I was born I went home from the hospital, they thought I was fine. My mum took me back in, I would have died if she didn’t realise.

“It wasn’t until 10 years ago that mum realised she had the same thing. She lived until 50 without realising.”

A JustGiving page has been set up for donations towards the skydive, with a target of £1600 being set.

The target would be go towards funding machines which help to detect heart conditions in newborn babies, meaning they can be dealt with at an early opportunity.

Ms Halfacre added: “Certain hospitals have the machines, the target of £1600 will raise money for two machines.

“My daughter also inheriting our heart defect has given my mum more reason as to why this is so important to her.

“All the family are going to watch. For my mum to go from being told she has weeks to live to jumping out of a plane is amazing.”

To donate, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/tiny-tickers-fantastic-four.

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