Heart transplant man, Bob Gray, 57, has overcome all odds and successfully completed his first ever parachute dive – just four years after his life-changing operation.
Bob free fell l0, 000ft from the skies above Fife on Saturday 23 August, to raise funds for leading cancer charity CancerBACUP.
Five years ago - virtually bed bound, struggling for every breath and waiting for a new heart – Bob didn't dream he would ever be taking part in such heroic antics.
He said: "Everything that I do now that is positive with my life is saying thank you to the wonderful medical team at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary (GRI) for giving me back the gift of life."
Bob successfully underwent a heart transplant, at the GRI's Scottish Cardiopulmonary Transplant Unit, in 1999. After making a full recovery Bob now leads an incredibly active life, setting himself daredevil challenges every year.
Incredibly, only 12 months after his operation Bob cycled the 26 miles from Penicuick to the Borders, with no training - just sheer determination.
He said: "The fact I'm still here, able to do all these things, speaks volumes for the wonderful care and treatment given to me at the GRI."
Bob, now represents Scotland in the National, European and World Transplant Games. He's part of a team of four, know as the Bravehearts, all of whom were former heart transplant patients at the GRI Transplant Unit. Last month, the team picked up seven medals in the British Games in Stoke-on-Trent
Bob managed to raise more than £700 from his sponsored skydive - all the money will go to CancerBACUP to help the charity provide free information and support to people with cancer, their families and their friends.
"I'll definitely be doing another jump. It was the most exhilarating experience in the world. I couldn't wipe the smile off my face when I landed – I was like a child with a new toy!
"Having been through some very tough moments in my life I really just want to help others with health problems. Thanks to the care I received at the Transplant Unit I can live my life to the full and I plan to give as much support as I can to those who are, at present, unable to," explained Bob.
Anyone interested in raising money for CancerBACUP should contact Ewan Hastings on 0141 223 7670.
Notes to Editor:
There have been 240 heart transplant procedures at Glasgow Royal Infirmary since the inception of the Cardiothoracic Transplantation programme in 1992.
Images of Bob and his parachute dive are available on request.
For further information please contact Emma Gregory on 0141 201 3964 or
e-mail [email protected]