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Stroke mum Leona's skydive challenge

A Dublin mum who suffered two massive strokes when she was pregnant is taking part in a world record skydive.

Leona Vickers (33), who was left paralysed on one side after the stroke, is aiming to participate in the fundraising jump which her family hope will break the record for most sky divers taking part.

She collapsed in May 2008 and fell into a coma, and while doctors saved her baby by performing an emergency C-section, her family were told that there was no hope for her. But since receiving stem cell treatment in the Xcell centre in Dusseldorf in December, the young mum of Ben (2) has been improving steadily.

Leona did a charity sky dive in 2006 , and next August she hopes to take the plunge again -- with her doctor's permission.

Her uncle Sean told the Herald: "She's up for it and it'll give her something to live for. As soon as we said it, she started bouncing up and down with excitement -- she needs a big thing like this to look forward to."

Leona hopes to return to Dusseldorf in a few months time for another round of specialist treatment. It is hoped that the sky dive will raise the €10,000 required to do this. The jump will take place in Offaly in August, and Sean is liaising with the Guinness Book of World Records to create the world record challenge.

"There's loads of people out there who've said that a sky dive is something they've always wanted to do. And they can contact me to do this one," he said.

Anyone who wishes to join Leona in the sky dive can contact seanmooney1@ gmail.com. You can donate to the Hope for Leona fund at Bank of Ireland account number 62484995, sort code 900551.