Published: 24 June 2024

A woman from Newport who is ‘scared of heights’ has set herself the ultimate challenge of completing a skydive in memory of her father.

Jemma Martin, 24, is raising funds for the Wales Air Ambulance after the service was called to the aid of her father Alan in August 2020. Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of the crew on board Wales Air Ambulance, Alan passed away, but a grateful Jemma wanted to show her appreciation to the medics that tried to help her much-loved dad.

Jemma said: “I am completing a skydive in Swansea and I am facing my fear of heights. I am super nervous, however I am being brave and am excited for the view! 

The Wales Air Ambulance needs to raise £11.2 million each year to keep its helicopters in the air and its rapid response vehicles on the road.

Jemma, who is a Deputy Manager and works with adults with additional needs, has set herself the fundraising target of £750. So far, she has raised an incredible £555 for the cause.

Wales Air Ambulance is consultant-led, taking hospital-standard treatments to the patient and, if required, transferring them directly to the most appropriate hospital for their illness or injury. For the patient, this can mean hours saved when compared to standard care and is proven to greatly improve survival and early recovery.   

It is delivered via a unique Third Sector and Public Sector Partnership. The Emergency Medical Retrieval and Transfer Service (EMRTS) supplies highly skilled NHS consultants and critical care practitioners who work on board the Charity’s vehicles.  

Jemma said: “I am raising funds for the Wales Air Ambulance in memory of my amazing dad who passed away unexpectedly. He received help from this amazing service, the Charity’s medics were some of the first to attend to my dad and they did everything they could to save him and keep him safe.

“The aftercare we received as a family was also incredible and this made us really realise how vital the service is to the people of Wales. As a family, we are so grateful for everything the medics did that day and the time after.

“I was such a daddy’s girl, he was my best friend and he would be so proud of me completing this to raise funds for such an amazing cause.”

In 2019, the charity launched its Aftercare Service through the introduction of a Patient Liaison Nurse, Jo Yeoman. Thanks to this service, the Charity is now one of the first to arrive on scene but also the last to leave, ensuring that patients and their families are supported throughout their recovery, including bereavement support.

The Charity expanded the service in 2022 with an additional Patient Liaison Nurse, Hayley Whitehead-Wright covering Mid and North Wales.

As a pan-Wales service, the dedicated air ambulance crews, regardless of where they are based, will travel the length and breadth of the country to deliver emergency lifesaving care. 

Jemma is grateful for the support she has so far received from friends and family, including her mum Jacquie and sister Lucy. She added: “My family and friends are so proud of me, and I know my dad would be too. My mum may be a bit apprehensive but she’s proud none the less. They will all be there on the day to support me.

“I would like to raise £750 for the Charity, but anything more would be amazing!”

Mark Stevens, Head of Fundraising for the Wales Air Ambulance said: “A huge thank you Jemma for wanting to fundraise for the Wales Air Ambulance. Jemma knows firsthand the care that the Charity provides not just for the patient but for families. The Wales Air Ambulance has a unique service where it is now one of the first to arrive on scene but also the last to leave.

“Jemma has set herself the huge challenge of completing a skydive, despite the fact she scared of heights, which is incredible. We wish her well with her fundraiser and thank you for helping our lifesaving cause.

“The Wales Air Ambulance needs to raise £11.2 million each year to keep its helicopters in the sky and its rapid response vehicles on the road, fundraisers, like Jemma’s, will help us continue to provide this 24/7 service for the people of Wales.”

You can show your support to Jemma by donating to her JustGiving page www.justgiving.com/page/jemma-martin