Sophie jumps from 15,000ft in tribute to grandad Pete

“We went rainbow hunting!” was Sophie Bunting’s excuse for arriving later than her fellow skydivers at the drop zone in Dunkeswell, Devon.

Sophie, an NHS 111 pathways coach in Exeter, started the day feeling terrified with the prospect of falling out of a plane at 15,000 feet, accelerating to 80mph and freefalling for a full 60 seconds in a tandem skydive. By the time she was in the plane, her adrenaline pumping, she looked to her left and said: “Does this mean we’re going out first?”

They stepped out and “it felt unreal, like I was floating for the first 5 seconds. Then, it was fast! There’s just no way to describe it,” said Sophie

Her professional skydiver showed that by positioning their shadow over the clouds, it would be circled by a rainbow. While Sophie was marvelling at the curvature of the earth, their search for rainbows caused pangs of concern for her family, friends and boyfriend, Jack, who also works for Devon Doctors. Staff helped them spot that they had left the plane first, but that it was the other skydivers doing tricks, who could be seen closer, sooner.

Having opened their main parachute, her spectator's fears were allayed. They could see her, but she got a delightful surprise that they were at her landing spot:

“We landed and he checked I was breathing because I did scream a lot! I saw them and then I was trying to get up and run to give them a hug, but forgot I was still strapped to him,” she said, smiling.

Sophie’s hair-razing but exhilarating jump was done in aid of Myeloma UK. They fund research and give support to people affected by the incurable blood cancer her grandfather, Peter, sadly died from while waiting for her jump to be rescheduled during the pandemic. “He knew I was doing it. I’m sure he was watching,” she said. Perhaps, he was somehwere over the rainbow.

Sophie's Just Giving page can be found here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sophie-bunting5

For more details about Myeloma: https://www.myeloma.org.uk/