A north-east schoolboy is taking the drop to raise funds for a charity that helped save his life when he was a baby.
Darren Hamilton-Hall, 10, is aiming to take part in the Adrenalin Drop, a charity event that would see him plummet 100ft from a crane and land safely on his feet, in his bid to help the Friends of the Special Nursery.
The youngster was born four weeks early at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary weighing 6lb 1oz and had to fight for his life due to cardiomyopathy, a condition in which the heart muscle becomes enlarged, thick or rigid.
At the time in 2008 Darren was dubbed the “bus dash baby” because his mum Hazel and dad Corey were forced to flag down a bus after their car broke down.
He was kept on a ventilator in the neo-natal unit before being transferred to Yorkhill Children’s Hospital in Glasgow.
His parents, from Gourdon, were told Darren’s heart was not compressing and he needed medication. Eventually he was returned to the neo-natal unit in Aberdeen for further specialist care.
Hazel has spoken of her gratitude to the unit and has since raised funds for Friends of the Special Nursery.
Now Darren wants to take part in the Adrenalin Drop on May 19, where he will step out from a cage suspended by a crane at 100ft and plunge down before landing safely on his feet.
Hazel, who has two younger children, Anna, 8, and Callen, 4, said: “It was all Darren’s idea and it is his first fundraiser.
“He was looking at the videos of the Adrenalin Drop and said: ‘Mummy, I want to do that. I could do that to raise money’.
“I was surprised. My first reaction was to ask him: ‘Are you sure?’, but I can see he is excited to do it.”
She added: “Darren has been a fighter since the day he was born.
“Had it not been for the amazing staff in the neo-natal unit, we might not have had Darren.
“They do such brilliant work and are so helpful for families. If you are ever in the position where you have a sick child, they will support you.
“In my experience, they just make your life so much easier. The staff provided things such as a parent room and food during the most stressful time of my life.
“And since then, as a family, we have tried to fundraise for the neo-natal unit. Darren wasn’t a year old when we first raised money.”
Hazel, who is studying midwifery, said her son knows exactly what the charity has done to help save him. She said: “I think he’s fully aware, he sees them as: ‘they are the ones that helped me live’. He has so much passion when he talks about it.”
So far, Darren has managed to raise more than £400 through his EverydayHero page and anyone interested in donating can visit adrenalin-drop.everydayhero.com/uk/darren to help his cause.
The mum-of-three added: “I’m nervous, but I am also really proud of him. Whatever he puts his mind to, he will accomplish.
“I try to think of it as, if it had not been for Friends of the Special Nursery, Darren would not have the opportunity to do it.
“At the time we did not know what the outcome was going to be and there are many families who have to live like that,” she added.
“We just want to highlight the great work the unit does.”
Hazel said that during the decade since Darren’s birth her family has organised fundraisers that include bingo evenings, special family photo-shoots and have even auctioned off a signed AFC jersey.