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