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Amazing Abseil Adventure

By Victoria Dupreez

On a sunny Saturday morning, we were full of trepidation and dread as we stared at the 100-foot wall that we were about to abseil down. A few months prior, I had decided to attempt the Amazing Abseil Adventure at Southmead Hospital with five of my colleagues. At least we would be in the right place if anything went wrong!

We were aiming to raise money for the Southmead Hospital Charity’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) fund, which has a special place in my heart. In 2015, I was a first time mum and my son was born prematurely at 37 weeks. He was in the NICU unit for almost a fortnight. It was a terrifying period of my life but during that time, the NICU nurses were wonderful and so supportive.

Abseiling would be a huge challenge for me as I have a fear of heights. The thought of dangling on a bit of rope from 100 feet was completely horrifying, but I was glad that I had a team of colleagues supporting me in this challenge. As the date got closer, I just tried to focus on my thoughts and knowing that my little boy would be standing there watching me with the rest of my family. This definitely helped a lot!

As I stood there looking up at the wall in the warm September sun, I knew I had to volunteer to go first. There would be nothing worse than letting my nerves crescendo whilst watching everyone else. After a brief by the team running the event, I was eager to go. My nerves were jangling though as we went up to the roof. The hardest part was stepping over the edge with the world 100-feet below. After some initial hesitation, I eventually managed to lean back and off I went. The feeling was indescribable but I can honestly say now that I no longer have my fear of heights and would happily do it again. I felt like a new person when I reached the bottom and my little boy was the first person to give me a hug. That cemented my achievements and my desire to support such a fantastic charity. To date we have raised over £1,000.

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