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Croydon retiree taking the plunge for charity

A retired Croydon resident is taking the plunge to raise funds for Evelina London Children’s Hospital, part of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. And, if this adrenaline-charged feat is not daring enough, the thrill seeker is planning on his ascent while wearing his right leg prosthesis.

Mark Vine, aged 67, who lives at FirstPort managed independent retirement living development Mildred Court in Croydon, will be abseiling down an incredible 160 feet from the roof of St Thomas’ Hospital on Friday 10th September.

Mark says: “I know some members of my family are questioning my senility, but I’m determined to do this to raise funds for such a good cause. The hospital, like so many NHS hospitals, needs our much-needed help to fund the marvelous support they provide their young patients, families, and of course, the wonderful staff”.

He adds: “I lost my right leg above the knee in 2014, following gangrene getting into my wound after a surgical procedure. I then became very ill with sepsis and spent several weeks in an induced coma in intensive care at St. Thomas’ Hospital.”

“Once I was physically well, I was transferred to a special Rehabilitation Centre, jointly operated by Guys’ and St Thomas’s NHS Trust. I received help with mental health issues associated with losing a limb and physical help to improve my body strength so that I could eventually wear an above knee prosthesis.”

“The pandemic has meant many people have been through a pretty horrible time. And for many others, things have been pretty tough financially, so with this in mind I felt people would more likely donate generously to a children’s charity.”

FirstPort Regional Operations Manager Ed Cooper says: “It is fantastic to see Mr Vine taking on this charity challenge. It is such an inspiration to our communities to see residents making such a positive difference.”

St Thomas’ Abseil is an annual fundraising challenge and takes place on one of London’s most iconic buildings, boasting views (if you manage keep your eyes open on the way down!) of Big Ben, The Houses of Parliament, and the London Eye.