Woman, 96, dies preparing for 70ft abseil

Published: 30th July 2012 06:26 PM  |   Last Updated: 30th July 2012 06:26 PM   |  A+A-


A thrill-seeking 96-year-old British woman collapsed and died just ahead of taking part in a 70-feet abseil, the controlled descent down a rock face using a rope.

She was doing it for the blind and partially sighted people's cause.

Fun-loving Gertrude Painter kitted up and was ready to descend from a hospital roof when she suddenly fell ill, The Sun reported.

Known as Gertie, the woman was being sponsored to abseil from the top of a 21-metre high hospital building in West Sussex county Saturday. Despite all efforts to revive her, she was pronounced dead at the scene.

The pensioner was one of around 50 people participating in the sponsored event for 4Sight - West Sussex Association for the Blind, which supports blind and partially sighted people.

According to her family, Gertie was an amazing lady. She was spirited, full of character and was much loved by all in the family and among friends.

"She passed away doing what she loved best - raising money for charities that supported children with cancer and people with visual impairment.

"This was going to be Gertie's 10th abseil and, although she would have been disappointed not to complete it, she would have wanted everyone to be inspired by her efforts, and to continue to give generously to such worthy causes," the family said.

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