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Sunday, 21 September 2014

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Memory of Cumbria granddad inspired duo’s jump

THE memory of a beloved Millom granddad was the driving force behind a £4,000 donation to a vital lifesaving charity.

S20232.jpg
taking the plunge Becca Irwin, right and above on her charity skydive. She and her brother Mark did the jump in memory of their granddad, George Lehrle, top

Siblings Becca and Mark Irwin, from Millom, took to the skies for a fundraising skydive in October.

Now they are ready to hand over the cash to the Great North Air Ambulance Service – in thanks for giving them the chance to say a final farewell to their granddad, George Lehrle.

Miss Irwin and her brother jumped from 14,000 feet over an airfield in Cark.

Miss Irwin, who works at Sellafield, said: “I felt sick with nerves all through the night and all the way up in the plane.

“It was amazing though, the view across Cumbria was fantastic.”

Mr Lehrle, 84, was airlifted to Furness General Hospital when he was taken ill at his home in Lonsdale Road, Millom, on July 26 last year after a long illness.

His family say the help of the GNAAS proved vital in giving his family the chance to say goodbye – as a road accident on the A595 meant an ambulance would not have been able to get to FGH in time.

The pair had originally planned to raise £2,500, the cost of deploying an air ambulance, but have smashed their fund raising target.

Miss Irwin previously told the Evening Mail: “He was a great supporter of the air ambulance during his life, so I suppose it was quite fitting that his last journey was in one. He was still with us when we got there, and even though he couldn’t speak he knew we were there with him.”

Mr Lehrle, originally from Barrow, worked as a writer for the Evening Mail in his teens, before jobs at the Ritz Cinema House, Millom Ironworks and GlaxoSmithKline.

Miss Irwin said: “He was the perfect person; very considerate. He was always laughing and joking and he always put everyone else before himself.

“He was the person who everyone in the family would go to for advice; he was the head of the family really and it has never been the same since he died.”

The GNAAS were called out 142 times between May and July last year, the highest of any county in its service area.

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