Charity thanks 80-year-old Uckfield man who broke both legs in paragliding fundraiser

Brave fundraiser Mike Pont is recovering in hospital after a disastrous paragliding jump
Brave fundraiser Mike Pont is recovering in hospital after a disastrous paragliding jump

An animal charity has thanked a 'marvellous' Uckfield fundraiser who broke both his legs during a paragliding jump on his 80th birthday.

After turning 80-years-old earlier this year, Mike Pont, a former teacher from Uckfield, decided to overcome his fear of heights by doing a sponsored paragliding jump for the Raystede Centre for Animal welfare in Ringmer.

A long-time supporter of the charity Mr Pont is believed to have fallen awkwardly while landing, breaking both of his legs in the process. He is currently re-covering after the crash.

A spokesman for the charity said: "We are really sad to report that although Mike completed the jump, he had a traumatic landing, tragically managing to break both his legs and is currently in hospital.

"Mike who has always been terrified of heights, has two replacement knees and a replacement hip, he attempted this brave challenge on August 25, dressed as a Spitfire pilot.

"He has worked really hard on raising funds for Raystede to help us with our mission of giving animals a better life. It costs £6,000 a day to run the centre so everything he raises helps to ensure we can carry on rescuing, rehoming and providing sanctuary for thousands of animals both now and in the future."

The jump raised more than £900 for the charity through Mr Pont's Justgiving page. Writing on the page ahead of the event, Mr Pont said: "I have taken a break from my partial sanity to complete a paragliding jump at the end of this week. As you may know I turned 80 a few months ago and not content with permanently marking myself with my first tattoo I thought I'd risk life and limb by paragliding off from the Sussex Downs. Let's see if my knee and hip replacements can take it!"

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