Widowed Northampton woman to skydive 15,000ft to mark late husband's 60th birthday
A Northampton woman is taking the plunge to raise funds for the British Tinnitus Association after her husband took his own life on his 53rd birthday.
Linda Mitchell, 45, of Duston lost her spouse, Glen after he was suddenly struck down with tinnitus after attending a gig at their local pub back in 2011. The condition triggered a mental health breakdown and just 12 weeks later, Glen took his own life.
Now Linda is taking part in a 15,000ft tandem skydive to mark what would have been Glen's 60th birthday on July 7.
Linda, who is aiming to raise Â£2,000, said: "The aim is to raise awareness of the conditions so people realise it's not 'just an annoying ringing in the ears' but especially to let people know 'there is help, there is hope'."
"Whilst the majority of the 6.5 million UK people with the conditions adjust, for over 650,000 people their lives are completely debilitated, for some resulting in anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts."
Before he died, Glen would be awake at 4am every morning and pace the streets in a bid to exhaust himself to try and get a good nights sleep.
Glen was soon referred to ear, nose and throat specialists. But it was never confirmed that he had damage or hearing loss. By this time Glen had also developed hyperacusis, a sensitivity to sound, and his mental health was getting worse.
She added: "Sadly there are more cases coming to light of people killing themselves because they could not cope with it and did not realise there was help available.
"All sufferers need to know that whilst there is currently no cure - unlike when Glen was desperate for help - there is now so much support, coping techniques, information and treatments available that can help relieve some symptoms.
"Nobody should be told by a medic that they just have to live with it and get no support."
By the end, he could not turn the light on in the bathroom because the noise of the extractor fan hurt his ears. He found the noise of a boiling kettle too hard and he refused to leave the house.
It was at that point he took his own life.
Paying tribute to her late husband she added: "Glen was a fun loving cheeky man with a wicked sense of humour and always up for a laugh.
"He loved his football and was a Tottenham Hotspur fan, music and action movies.
"He was always looking out for the latest gadgets to tinker with, the more buttons and flashing lights the better, mostly because he found it hilarious that I could never work them out."
The British Tinnitus Association receive no Government funding and are reliant on contributions from fundraising and donors.