Adventure-seeking gran, 80, goes zip wiring for charity after double bypass

Rhonda Davis's latest daredevil challenge supports the hospitals which saved her life


After grandmother Rhonda Davis underwent a double heart bypass, her consultant told her she “had a heart as strong as a 25-year-old”.

The Bushey resident took the comment as a green light to undertake daredevil escapades for charitable causes.

And on Sunday, the 80-year-old took on the fastest zip wire challenge in Europe to raise funds for the hospitals that saved her life.

Ms Davis said she loved the sensation of travelling at 125 mph on the Zip World Velocity 2 at Penrhyn Quarry in Wales.

“It was amazing,” she told the JC. “I’d tell everyone to do it. You feel like you are a bird flying high. The scenery is gorgeous.”

Added Ms Davis, whose family are members of Edgware and Hendon Reform Synagogue: “It was over in 55 seconds but it was like something out of Jurassic Park.”

She completed the challenge with her cardiologist, Dr Will Wallis of Watford General Hospital, and has raised £5,000 for the Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals Charity.

“I don’t believe in moaning or making excuses because of your age,” Ms Davis said. “I don’t want my grandchildren to have a memory of me as an old lady with her glasses on sat in a chair. It is important for them to know that I have done something.

“I don’t believe in saying ‘I can’t’. Life is for living. I’m a pensioner so I can’t write a check for £20,000 for charity. But I can do these challenges. It is important to give back.”

The money she raised will go towards the charity’s Harefield Transplant Appeal for organ care systems.

She has previously jumped out of an aeroplane at 13,500 feet in a tandem sky dive and abseiled 100 metres down the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth.

“You might say it is scary to jump out of a plane but what is better than being strapped to a hunky guy as you do it. If that is the way I go, I don’t think it is that bad,” she said.

The other challenges supported Royal Brompton and Harefield’s research pogramme into sudden onset cardiac arrest, particularly in young people.

“It is really sad there are young people who need heart transplants and if you can do something to help you have to.”


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