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Bionic teenager braves zip wire for charity

02 November 2012


Cable star: Emma-Jo Blundy, aged 17, makes a zip-wire descent from the Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge on Sunday of last week

Cable star: Emma-Jo Blundy, aged 17, makes a zip-wire descent from the Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge on Sunday of last week

AN ANGLICAN teenager who has undergone major spinal surgery descended a zip wire to raise money for charity earlier this month.

Emma-Jo Blundy, a sixth-form student at Carmel College, Darlington, in Co. Durham, undertook the high-speed descent from the Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge the Sunday before last. She raised more than £240 for Take a Day Out, a charity that provides short breaks for full-time carers.

Three years ago, Emma-Jo, who is now 17, had titanium rods inserted into her spine to correct curvature caused by scoliosis. The surgery initially left her legs paralysed, and she needed two further operations.

The pub where Emma-Jo works part-time, the Cobblers Hall, in Newton Aycliffe, was looking for people to descend the zip wire for charity, and she volunteered. Her experience of being in hospital "made me want to see what I could do to help carers that are so important in the after-care of all kinds of people; without support from my family, I wouldn't have been able to cope with my own surgery and rehabilitation."

The worst bit of the challenge, she said, was walking up to the top of the zip wire, but she "enjoyed every minute" of the descent. She said that she would like to take on further challenges in the future. "The more I do, the more I feel like nothing's going to stop me."

The founder of Take a Day Out, Peter Sheen, said: "When I found out about Emma-Jo's own situation, I couldn't believe it. It's just outstanding that she would help us out in this way; we are very grateful and very humbled."

Emma-Jo's manager at the pub, Collette Gore, said: "I had no idea about Emma-Jo's surgery. We all thought that she was very brave to do the zip-wire event, and [she was] the only member of the 'Cobblers' team that did."


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