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WATCH: Inverness twins do "petrifying" charity skydive in memory of Army brother


By Alan Shields

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Eilidh and Kirsty completed an epic skydive in memory of their late brother Ryan Mackenzie.
Eilidh and Kirsty completed an epic skydive in memory of their late brother Ryan Mackenzie.

Brave twin sisters have completed a “petrifying” charity skydive in memory of their brother who sadly took his own life.

Lance corporal Ryan Mackenzie died last August after a lengthy battle with his mental health.

The 30-year-old soldier was based in Catterick, Yorkshire, serving with the Highlanders, 4th Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland (4 SCOTS).

Lance corporal Ryan Mackenzie.
Lance corporal Ryan Mackenzie.

After their tragic loss, sisters Eilidh and Kirsty (29), from Inverness, decided to raise funds for Combat Stress the UK's leading charity for veterans' mental health.

For over a century, it has been a source of help for former service personnel in order to help deal with issues like trauma, anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The determined pair have raised £2175 so far which will allow the charity to keep helping armed forces personnel in need.

They travelled to Fife recently to complete the skydive at St Andrews - with Eilidh saying "never again" after plummeting back to Earth.

She said: "It was literally us picturing Ryan's face that got us out of the plane.

"Bless Kirsty she tried to get back in the plane twice.

"It was petrifying.

"The fear took over our body.

"Beforehand we were nervous and looking out the windows was fine but as soon as that door opened - the fear just unreal.

"It was an experience and an achievement - but it's not for me.

"I was in shock afterwards that we had just jumped out of a plane."

Inverness twins Eilidh and Kirsty have completed a charity skydive in memory of their late brother Ryan Mackenzie.
Inverness twins Eilidh and Kirsty have completed a charity skydive in memory of their late brother Ryan Mackenzie.

Eilidh and Kirsty praised their instructors at Skydive St Andrews.

The twins were also helped by friends with a recent fundraising event at The Innes Bar all in memory of their much loved brother.

Eilidh said: "Ryan had been in the army since he was about 17 or 18.

"He was due to leave the army this year but things just got on top of him."

Robert Marsh, director of fundraising at Combat Stress, praised the twins for their fundraising efforts.

Eilidh and Kirsty completed an epic skydive in memory of their late brother Ryan Mackenzie.
Eilidh and Kirsty completed an epic skydive in memory of their late brother Ryan Mackenzie.

He said: “Every death is a tragedy, and on behalf of everyone at Combat Stress our heartfelt condolences go out to Eilidh, Kirsty and their family.

“By all accounts, Ryan was much loved by his family and friends and would be thrilled with his sisters’ brave decision to sky-dive in his memory.

"That Eilidh and Kirsty are fundraising for us at the same time is incredibly selfless and we are so grateful to them for supporting veterans at this difficult time.

“The money they raise will help us to be there for those veterans in need so we can support them with our specialist mental health services.”

Donations can be made online by looking up "Kirsty and Eilidh’s sky dive" on Gofundme.com.


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