Charlotte to take the plunge for Yorkshire Air Ambulance

Charlotte to take the plunge for Yorkshire Air Ambulance

Published at 1:02pm 5th July 2017. (Updated at 1:54pm 5th July 2017)

A woman who was seriously injured in a childhood road accident is taking her fundraising for Yorkshire Air Ambulance to new heights.

21-year-old Charlotte Leighton has signed up to skydive from 15,000 feet to support the charity which she loves.

Charlotte and her family have already raised more than £100,000 for the rapid response emergency service since she was knocked down near her home in Tollerton in March 2006.

The impact caused devastating head and facial injuries, and her life was only saved thanks to treatment at the scene by medics and being quickly airlifted to Leeds General Infirmary.

Charlotte, who along with mum Sue, is a registered volunteer for the charity, said: "If Yorkshire Air Ambulance had not been there, I would not be here. It's as simple as that.

"They are a massive part of my life and we all, as a family, try to do as much as we can to raise money, but also to raise awareness of the work the air ambulance does."

Charlotte suffered multiple fractures to her forehead, eye sockets, jaw and leg, and underwent pioneering facial reconstruction surgery following the accident.

She's still undergoing treatment, recently having surgery which involved breaking her upper jaw and fitting a titanium plate, and is now awaiting further bone grafts and implants.

Charlotte added: "It is hard. You have one operation and recover and get back to how you are and then you're down again with the next one. It does wear you out a bit, but hopefully I can now see some light at the end of the tunnel."

Despite her many operations, Charlotte has lived life to the full, becoming a talented equestrian rider, competing with her younger sister, Serena, for York and Ainsty South Pony Club and at British Showjumping events across the country.

Earlier this month, she beat off the challenge from 90 other riders to win individual and team novice prizes at a coveted event.

Later this month, Charlotte, Serena and dad Colin will be taking on a different challenge - the UK's highest skydive.

The trio will tandem jump from 15,000 feet above Lincolnshire and hope to raise a sky-high sum for Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

Charlotte said: "It is something we've really wanted to do for a long time and so, at the moment, we are all really excited about it and hope to raise a lot of money."

Yorkshire Air Ambulance serves five million people and carries out more than 1,250 missions every year.

The charity needs to raise £12,000 every day and recently replaced its two ageing aircraft with state-of-the-art Airbus H145 helicopters.

You can support Charlotte, Serena and Colin at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/leightonsskydive