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Six-year-old friends dive in to help Magpas charity as thank-you for helping sister



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Three schoolgirls took to the water to raise cash for an emergency ambulance service that aided a sister.

Six-year-olds Esme Thornhill, Zara Jackson and Gracie Howe dived into the George Campbell pool at March on Sunday to raise money for Magpas Air Ambulance, which relies totally on public support to provide its life-saving service.

Esme completed 37 lengths while Zara and Gracie both swam 34 and together have raised nearly £1,600 for the charity - which is way over their original £100 target.

Zara Jackson, Gracie Howe and Esme Thornhill who are swimming 20 lengths in aid of Magpas. (51865081)
Zara Jackson, Gracie Howe and Esme Thornhill who are swimming 20 lengths in aid of Magpas. (51865081)

The inspiration for the fundraiser was Esme's younger sister Isla, three, who was helped by the Magpas helicopter and its medical team when she stopped breathing earlier last month as a result of a condition called 'Blue Breath Syndrome'.

On September 7 Isla bumped her elbow on a door frame which caused a breath holding episode which led to her suffering a seizure that lasted for seven minutes, followed by a 30 second period where she wasn't breathing at all.

Isla's parents Willow and Aaron were shocked to learn that the Magpas service relies on fundraising to keep providing it's life-saving service.

Zara Jackson, Gracie Howe and Esme Thornhill who are swimming 20 lengths in aid of Magpas..Also Isla Thornhill in the photo..with left Annette Ablewhite and right Wayne Marshall from Magpas. (51865080)
Zara Jackson, Gracie Howe and Esme Thornhill who are swimming 20 lengths in aid of Magpas..Also Isla Thornhill in the photo..with left Annette Ablewhite and right Wayne Marshall from Magpas. (51865080)

Willow said: "It was quite shocking to realise Magpas has to rely on charity to provide its service. They were brilliant when they came to help Isla and Esme decided she wanted to do something as a thank-you to them.

"She and her friends organised the swim and all did incredibly well when they took part on Sunday. Esme has been completely blown away by the amount of money people have donated."

Willow, who swam alongside the girls, added: "Magpas is such a valuable service, and you always pray you won't need them, but when you do, you are incredibly grateful that they are there."

To donate visit the visit the girls' Gofundme page.

Zara Jackson, Gracie Howe and Esme Thornhill who are swimming 20 lengths in aid of Magpas with Annette Ablewhite and Wayne Marshall from Magpas. (51865084)
Zara Jackson, Gracie Howe and Esme Thornhill who are swimming 20 lengths in aid of Magpas with Annette Ablewhite and Wayne Marshall from Magpas. (51865084)


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