Charlotte takes to the skies!

Courageous Charlotte Leighton is taking her fundraising for Yorkshire Air Ambulance to new heights!

The 21-year-old, who suffered serious head and facial injuries in a childhood road accident, will be skydiving from 15,000ft later this month to support the charity she loves.

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

The impact caused devastating head and facial injuries and her life was only saved thanks to treatment at the scene by Air Ambulance medics and the speed she was airlifted to specialists at Leeds General Infirmary.

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

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

“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 Show Jumping events throughout the country.

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

But next month Charlotte, Serena and Dad Colin will be taking on a different challenge – the UK’s highest skydive. The trio will tandem jump from 15,000ft above Lincolnshire and hope to raise a sky-high sum for the YAA.

Charlotte added: “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 5million people and carries out over 1,250 missions every year. It needs to raise £12,000 every day and has just replaced its two, ageing aircraft with brand new, state-of-the-art Airbus H145 helicopters.

If you would like to support Charlotte, Serena and their Dad go to their Just Giving Page