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‘It will be worth every single feeling’ Mum gets go ahead for memorial skydive

PUBLISHED: 06:30 05 September 2020 | UPDATED: 08:49 05 September 2020

Jo Penniston will be skydiving in memory of baby Archie to fundraise for EACH. Picture: Jo Penniston

Jo Penniston will be skydiving in memory of baby Archie to fundraise for EACH. Picture: Jo Penniston

Archant

A mum has smashed her £1,000 target ahead of a 10,000 foot skydive on the anniversary of her baby boy’s death.

Archie died aged eight months after being born 13-and-half weeks early, his mum Jo wants to raise £1,000  for EACH. Picture: Jo PennistonArchie died aged eight months after being born 13-and-half weeks early, his mum Jo wants to raise £1,000 for EACH. Picture: Jo Penniston

Jo Penniston said there was relief the fundraiser can go ahead on September 27 at Beccles Airfield as long as there is no lockdown or adverse weather conditions.

The Costessey resident set herself the challenge to raise £1,000 for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) in memory of her son Archie, who died on September 27, 2014.

The jump, which has always been on her bucket list, will take place on September 27 to mark six years to the day since the eight-month-old’s death.

Miss Penniston gave birth 13-and-a-half weeks early on January 22, 2014. She was sent to Surrey to give birth and when he was born Archie weighed just 508g, or 1lb 1oz.

Archie died aged eight months after being born 13-and-half weeks early, his mum Jo wants to raise £1,000  for EACH. Picture: Jo PennistonArchie died aged eight months after being born 13-and-half weeks early, his mum Jo wants to raise £1,000 for EACH. Picture: Jo Penniston

More: ‘Too beautiful for earth’ - mum’s fundraising skydive to remember son

The Queens Hill resident, who has raised more than £1,200 now, said: “I work for a charity, I know how important it is to rely on donations and fundraising. I’m really passionate about that.

“I’m feeling a bit anxious, it’s on my bucket list to jump out of a plane but I’m not a big fan of small planes.

“The day is going to be really memorable, 27 September 2014 was when my whole world fell apart and Archie flew away to a better place. Now 27 September this year will be a morning filled with anxiety, the anticipation, the mixed emotions, the goosebumps but will be worth every single feeling and emotion.

“They did save me and they have supported me through some really dark times.”

Baby Archie underwent 23 blood transfusions, fought sepsis and 30 infections, over the course of his life, and was brought back to Norwich in April 2014.

It was then, Miss Penniston met EACH’s wellbeing team who supported the family and provided a year of counselling following his death.

Miss Penniston said: “You think it won’t be me, they need the support, but it isn’t until you are in that situation that you realise how much support they offer. We are all guilty of it, ‘it won’t happen to me’ it can happen and it does happen. I never imagined I would be in neonatal for seven months and having a baby so poorly before passing away. I never imagined struggling so much when I lost Archie. EACH did save me and I am still in contact with them.

“Nobody prepares you for it. I know £1,200 will provide a lot of support for another family in a similar situation.

“Family, friends, even strangers, people that I have never spoken to and that is just heartwarming. These people do not know me do not know Archie and they are willing to dip in their pockets and donate a few pounds to my skydive.

“I really didn’t think I was going to reach my £1,000 target what with the pandemic.”

Visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jo-penniston to donate.


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