Oct 10, 2004, 5:07 PM
Post #1 of 12
HOLY MOLY! My quadriplegic sister just made a Tandem
Just got a phone call from my very excited sister. (Jackie Jones) She just got home from Z-Hills where she did her first tandem jump. She had gone to the hills to watch my brother jump (who has just started jumping again at 55). She decided to try it herself and is still high as a kite from the adventure. We had been at her b-day party yesterday (65th), watching a video of my brother and my 12-way POPS video and I guess she got the bug.
Congratulations to my WILD AND CRAZY SISTER who doesn't let anything slow her down! Way to go girl - we'll have to get you up here in GA and do a 3-way brother sister POPS dive.
Thanks to the staff at Z-Hills for taking good care of her.
Oct 12, 2004, 2:34 PM
Post #4 of 12
Re: [CrazyRick] HOLY MOLY! My quadriplegic sister just made a Tandem
[In reply to]
(Cross-post from skydivemonroe.com)
This is going to be a long one, guys....I'll probably tear up before it's over but I wanted to share a first-person account of this VERY special day for me and my sister, Jacque...
Before my leaving for the Z-hills DZ Sunday morning, my sister Jacque and I were talking and, surprise, suprise, skydiving came up. Before the conversation was over, she decided that she wanted to do a tandem jump. I was leery because I worried that she wouldn't be able to do the things necessary to help ensure a safe landing. But, I took her out to Z-hills anyway and left the safety decisions up to them. When we got there I asked the DZ Manager to evaluate her for suitability for tandem.
First, I would like to thank Skydive City in Z-hills with particular thanks to DZ Manager TK and Tandem Master Eric Hildebrand for their beyond-the-call-of-duty work in getting Jacque off the ground.
TK took time out from his busy schedule to sit and talk with her to evaluate her ability to handle a tandem jump and bent over backwards to answer all her questions and give her all the facts, both pro and con, on skydiving in general and tandem in particular. He also dug through his back room of equipment and found the special harness he built for just such circumstances and brought it out to fit it to Jacque. With TK's approval of the jump he then went to ask if any TM's would be willing to take her up and the very first one he asked offered his services to her with willingness and a smile even though he had not previously used TK's special harness on anyone with Jacque's problems.
Eric Hildebrand spent over half an hour with her fitting the harness and helping her prepare and working with TK to prepare himself. He did all this cheerfully and professionally and was a major factor in her eagerness to complete the jump.
Out at the plane, without being asked, nearly every skydiver jumped in to help get her on the plane and get strapped in. Every one of them tried to help but there was only space enough for about half of them to actually assist.
Once on the plane, all during the climb to altitude, skydivers all over the plane were talking to her and giving her words of encouragement. Every diver out the door before her either waved, saluted or spoke to her before exiting. Several assisted Eric with getting her tightened up before the door opened.
Eric permitted me to go out just before her so she could get a close-up of her 'bro going out, even though I did a solo and there were other disciplines both before and after us on the plane.
As I waited on the ground for her to land, a crowd of people and just-landed skydivers began gathering around the landing area and all were waiting for her landing.
As Eric landed her with a perfect slide-in, the crowd gave them a standing ovation that lasted at least 3-4 minutes!
I wish you could have been there. It was extremely moving to see my sister sitting there on the ground, mostly on top of Eric, with the biggest smile I have ever seen on her face. She was ecstatic!
On top of everything else, Eric stopped his jumping for the day and spent the rest of the time we were there at the DZ with Jacque and her family talking skydiving, watching the video with us, shootin' the breeze and mostly soaking up the hugs and kisses and smiles from Jacque.
One of the first things she did when she finally caught her breath was to call 'bro Rick to tell him of her accomplishment.
Thank you Skydive City, TK, and especially Eric. You guys showed that skydivers everywhere are good people.....you made MY day, too!
Oct 12, 2004, 2:56 PM
Post #5 of 12
Re: [popsjumper] HOLY MOLY! My quadriplegic sister just made a Tandem
[In reply to]
Awesome post! I'm reminded of a special tandem I saw at my old home DZ during a Mullin's King Air boogie back in the mid-late 90's. A woman (pretty good looking one too) was in the late stages of Multiple Sclerosis, and she had probably 25-30 family members and friends out at the DZ to watch her do it. One of the best Tandem masters around just happened to be there that weekend - Fast Eddie Grantland, and he took her up. She only gets around in a wheelchair, but could stand if she braced herself on something. Winds were like 5 to 10 mph on the ground and I watched Fast Eddie land her with the softest stand-up landing for a tandem that I've ever seen before or since, and 20 of us rushed the pair to get the canopy down quickly and congratulate her. Lots of us were in tears, even though we didn't know her. I don't remember how much longer she lived afterwards, but it wasn't very long...