Charity abseil fundraiser Gertrude Painter 'amazing lady'

Gertrude Painter Gertrude Painter was described as spirited and full of character

Related Stories

A 96-year-old woman who died moments before taking part in her 10th abseil for charity was doing what she loved best, her family has said.

Gertrude Painter was ready to descend 70ft (21m) from the roof of Crawley Hospital in West Sussex on Saturday when she had a suspected heart attack.

Ms Painter, known as Gertie, was pronounced dead at the scene and the rest of the abseil was called off.

The event was in aid of 4Sight, West Sussex Association for the Blind.

Her family said in a statement: "Gertie was an amazing lady.

"She was spirited, full of character and was much loved by her family and friends.

"She passed away doing what she loved best - raising money for charities that supported children with cancer and people with visual impairment.

"This was going to be Gertie's 10th abseil and, although she would have been disappointed not to complete it, she would have wanted everyone to be inspired by her efforts, and to continue to give generously to such worthy causes."

Details of Ms Painter's death will be passed to the West Sussex coroner.

Participants in the event had to be aged 14 or over but there was no upper age limit.

A statement from 4Sight said: "We are extremely saddened by this tragic event and our thoughts are with her family at this time."

Gertrude Painter's great-nephew, Jim Apted, said she was fine on the morning of the abseiling event

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Sussex

Weather

Brighton

18 °C 16 °C

Features

  • Shiny bootsMarching orders

    Where does the phrase 'boots on the ground' come from?


  • Almaz cleaning floorAlmaz's prison

    Beaten and raped - the story of an African servant in Saudi Arabia


  • Train drawn by Jonathan Backhouse, 1825The first trainspotter

    Did this drawing mark the start of a misunderstood hobby?


  • MarijuanaHigh tech

    The start-ups hoping to transform the marijuana industry


  • Child eating ice creamTooth top tips

    Experts on ways to encourage children to look after their teeth


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.