Hayling Island woman abseils down Spinnaker Tower as thank you to Queen Alexandra Hospital staff who cared for her husband

AS A thank you to staff who cared for her husband who had cancer, a 61-year-old woman raised hundreds of pounds with a charity abseil.

By Millie Salkeld
Monday, 2nd September 2019, 6:23 pm
Updated Tuesday, 3rd September 2019, 9:13 am
Paul and Mary Tomlinson
Paul and Mary Tomlinson

Mary Tomlinson’s husband, Paul, was diagnosed with cancer back in 2016 and despite the best efforts of the oncology team at Queen Alexandra Hospital, he died in 2018. 

Mary, from Hayling Island, said: ‘The staff at QA did an absolutely amazing job at caring for Paul. In his last five weeks they let me stay with him which was so kind and I really can’t thank them enough for everything they did.

‘They gave us hope every step of the way which meant such a lot throughout the two years Paul received care from them.’

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Paul and Mary Tomlinson

In a bid to give back to the department as a thank you, Mary decided to organise a charity abseil down Spinnaker Tower and completed the challenge last week with brother Ian Feeney, goddaughter Georgina Knight and friend Denise Hambrook.

The team raised more than £1,400.

Mary said: ‘It was so thrilling and everyone else wanted to get down as quickly as possible but I just wanted to hang out above Portsmouth all day.

‘I was so overwhelmed that Georgina, Ian and Denise offered to do it with me and help us to give back in memory of Paul. Last year we did the Rowans Moonlit Walk and dressed up as rainbow cancer warriors so we wore the same outfits again for the same reason but this time in aid of QA.’

Mary Tomlinson

‘I just wanted to show the oncology staff at QA how much what they did meant to all our family.’

Mary and father-of-two Paul started dating back in 1996 when they met at HMS Collingwood in Fareham where they were both working.

Speaking about her favourite memories, Mary said: ‘We absolutely loved to dance, especially ballroom dancing and jiving. 

‘After we retired early we also went caravanning in Spain and France and that was amazing fun.’

Paul Tomlinson

To donate visit justgiving.com/fundraising/mary-tomlinson3

(l-r) Georgina Knight, Mary Tomlinson, Ian Feeney and Denise Hambrook