This year 10 brave supporters went above and beyond in their support of our Charity by taking to the skies. Here, staff member Tuen, tells her Wing Walk story.

Working at Royal Brompton hospital through the pandemic

I have been working as a private outpatients administrator at Royal Brompton hospital for six years. My team runs the outpatient clinics and the Attend Anywhere video consultations.

My work has been extremely challenging over the Covid-19 pandemic. My department temporarily closed down to make room for the new MRI unit which is still being built. We had to relocate and because of the pandemic we have only been able to offer limited services. My team have been working from home since mid-March 2020, taking turns to go on site once or twice a week.

Wing Walk to support my colleagues

I am very proud to be part of this well-established organisation. I know the staff across Royal Brompton & Harefield hospitals and 77 Wimpole Street (Private patients diagnostics and outpatients) have been working extremely hard, especially throughout the pandemic, so I wanted to show my support in any way that I could.

I am into military and aviation. I've done abseiling, a microlight flight, tandem skydiving, shooting and I had a helicopter flying lesson which I truly enjoyed. I've been to several air shows and the Utterly Butterly Wing Walking Display was one of the highlights.

I saw the advert for the Wing Walk in the hospitals’ internal What's New magazine and I thought why not do something that I love and raise some money for the place of work that I am so proud to be part of. The Wing Walk would be the most challenging activity that I had done so far.

My Wing Walk flight

Ahead of my flight I was nervous but really excited! Flight day arrived on Saturday 10 July. It was a cool and rainy day, especially in the morning but the weather slightly improved as the day progressed. This caused a delay for the wing walkers in the morning, so my turn came just before five o’clock. I didn’t have much to eat on the day, only a small breakfast so I was a little “light” by the time I flew. It was such a lovely surprise to have a couple of colleagues bring their baby to cheer me on and a former colleague also turned up to support me.

All those wing walking for the Charity were in high spirits, all smiling and chatting, some hiding their nerves better than others. I think we knew that we were supporting a great cause and many people had turned up to support us. This made us feel good and excited about what we were about to do… screaming all the way in my case!

The flight was the most amazing activity I’ve ever done. I would love to have done a few loops and flying up-side-down but as a first-time wing walker it was not permitted. I asked the pilot to go as crazy as he was allowed and oh boy, he certainly didn’t disappoint me!

We climbed up high and then plummeted to the ground in a free dive, which my pilot repeated several times. My stomach was churning at the first drop, but I was too busy having fun and screaming at the top of my lungs. As we couldn’t do the loop, the pilot twisted to the side here and there which was exhilarating as I felt like I was about to fall off.

We then flew around the airfield several times. I could see people looking up from the ground outside the airfield, they were probably wondering what on earth was happening up there. I must say that I highly recommended the Wing Walk!

I do suffer from motion sickness, so I didn’t feel great after my flight. I had experienced this when I had my Microlight Flight and Tandem Skydive too, but my drive to take on another extreme challenge was more powerful. As soon as I got into my friend’s car, however, I was out of it. I couldn’t look at the photos & video for about a week as it made me feel dizzy.

Just go for it!

Anyone who is thinking about taking on the Charity Wing Walk next year should just go for it. It’s an experience that not many people have had, and you will be overjoyed that you’ve done it. It is possible to choose a more friendly flight, gliding through the skies, instead of asking for trouble like me.

I’m thrilled to have been able to support the Charity. Thank you to everyone who has generously supported my fundraising, I’ve managed to raise £1,854. If I were to be called for duty again, I would pack my Go-Pro camera, a hard helmet and would be ready to step up to the challenge.

Inspired by Tuen to take to the skies to support Royal Brompton & Harefield hospitals? Our Skydive event is scheduled for Saturday 11 September. Book your flight today!

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