A MOTHER who tragically lost her teenage son two years ago is doing a charity sky dive to mark what would have been his 21st birthday.
Greg Stiles died in a car crash aged just 18, and now mum Maggie is making sure his memory lives on by raising money for the Thames Valley and Chiltern Air Ambulance that saved his girlfriend Abi Dowdy’s life.
Abi was in the car at the time and survived after being air lifted to hospital.
Maggie’s fundraising target is £2,500, which is enough for two air ambulance trips – one for Greg and one for Abi.
She said: “The air ambulance means an awful lot to us, without question they saved Abi’s life by airlifting her to hospital with just a very slim chance of survival. I just want to help them save more lives, none of us know when you need the air ambulance, it could be anyone at any time.”
Maggie is doing the dive on August 14 – two days before Greg’s birthday.
It is always a difficult time for the family, this year even more so due to the milestone age.
“The emotions we go through now are often as raw as the day it happened,” Maggie said.
“Sometimes it feels like two years ago but sometimes it feels like just two days. Especially at a poignant anniversary they are very raw again as he will not be there to see it. I am so proud and privileged to be his mum, there is nothing I would change about him but that doesn’t stop me feeling very low and very emotional.
“Losing a child is about as low as life gets but you have no choice as to what would have been. The world has dealt us an horrendous card but we have a choice as to how to play that card. If I play it in a positive way it helps me keep Greg’s memory alive and can have a positive affect on other people but if we shut the door on the world and didn’t do anything positive then we really would lose out.”
Maggie always knew she wanted to mark Greg’s 21st by raising money for charity and chose the sky dive because of Greg’s sporty nature.
She said: “When I was deciding what to do I thought it had to be something that would challenge me but importantly it had to be something he would do.
“Greg was a keen sportsman and liked different sporting opportunities and I think a sky dive is something he might have chosen to do himself, maybe even for his 21st birthday.”
Abi has made a recovery since the crash on May 17, 2009 which saw Sammy Edwards jailed for five years for causing death by dangerous driving.
She still keeps in regular contact with the Stiles family.
To help Maggie reach her £2,500 target visit www.justgiving.com/ GregStiles