Father follows in daughters footsteps to honor life of Captain Stephen Healey
9 January 2014 12:15
Father follows in footsteps of his daughter Thea Davies by tackling his own fundraising challenge in aid of Blind Veterans UK.
Thea Davies' life changed forever on 26th May 2012 when her partner, 29 year old Captain Stephen Healey of 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh, died in action in Afghanistan. Thea chose to honor Captain Healey's memory by undertaking a 415 mile, year-long running challenge to raise funds for his favourite charity Blind Veterans UK.
Thea completed her challenge in October 2013 raising over £16,000 for Blind Veterans UK. Blind Veterans UK's Chief Executive Robert Leader said: " "Thea's support for Blind Veterans UK has been one of the most inspirational things I have ever seen. At a time of enormous personal tragedy for her she chose to take up Stephen's mantle and continue the amazing work that he had done to support ex-Service men and women, blinded both in action and later life. We owe both her and Stephen a huge debt of gratitude and what they have done for our people will never be forgotten."
Since completing her 415 mile challenge Thea has decided to continue to support Blind Veterans UK in 2014 in a number of events, including a full and half Ironman event in New Zealand to raise £2,000. Her Dad Mefyn is also taking on a challenge of his own, a Tandem Skydive on the 2nd of March in Taupo New Zeaalnd, to raise £500 for blind veterans.
Mefyn says: "My daughter Thea's life changed on the 26th of May 2012 when her partner Captain Stephen Healey from 1st Battalion the Royal Welsh was killed in action in Afghanistan. Steve was highly loved and honored in our family and he made my daughter so very happy I was proud to have him as part of our family.
"That dreaded day I will never forget receiving that phone call from Thea was the worst phone all I have ever received and I will never ever forget. Seeing my daughter go through that heartache and loss was the worst thing for any father to watch and there was nothing I could do to make that pain go away for her.
"We supported as much as we could and we would be there anytime day or night. I watched her start building back her life and was truly proud and inspired by the way she got up and started fundraising for Blind Veterans UK in honor of Steve by running 415miles over a year by entering various full and half marathons! She raised an amazing £16000 alongside others who ran with her.
"I have never been a runner and at the age of 62 I wasn't going to start but I really wanted to do something for Steve but didn't know what.
"Last summer Thea started planning her next challenge - Ironman New Zealand in Taupo which is known for it's skydive centre's. One discussion in the car ended up in me tentatively agreeing to complete a tandem skydive a day after Thea completes the Ironman.
"So the plan is weather dependent of course is to complete a Tandem Skydive on the 2nd of March in Taupo New Zealand (if weather is poor then it will be completed at an appropriate time during our 3 week trip in NZ) My aim is raise £500 for Blind Veterans UK a charity Steve supported.
"This is my way of doing something to honor an amazing man who we all miss so so much who made my daughter so very very happy - so please if you can spare a few £'s please donate, 100% of the donations will go to the charity and I will fund the skydive. Thank you, hopefully we will land in one piece."
To support Mefyn please visit his Just Giving page or text SHMD82 the amount £1-10 to 70070.
If you're inspired by Mefyn and would like to tackle a skydive for Blind Veterans UK closer to home, we have places available to skydive with the Red Devils 7 May in Nottingham (Langar Airfield) and 28 June in Salisbury (Old Sarum Airfield). Visit our website for more details.