WATCH: SA amputee's skydive ends 7 000km trek on high note

2016-11-08 12:34 - Louzel Lombard Steyn
Post a comment 0

Cape Town - It's one thing to walk 7 000km across an entire country in aid of charity. But it's a whole different story if you're walking on only one leg. 

This is something Paul Steyn can vouch for - being on the final stretch of a year-long trek through all nine provinces of South Africa. 

Paul's right leg was amputated after an accident at school in 2000 when he was thirteen years old. His leg was caught in the blades of a lawn mower pulled behind a tractor. Doctors tried their best to save the leg, but after gangrene set in, it was decided to amputate the leg below the knee. 

Despite the hardships of learning to deal with the loss of a limb, Paul has triumphed over his circumstances and, with his trek over SA, wants to inspire other people in similar situations to do the same. 

Paul set off from the V&A Waterfront on 3 August 2015 on his ambitious 7 000km walk. Now, after 14 months on the road, he finds himself back in the Western Cape for the last few hundred kilometers of the journey. 

But to end the last bit of the trek off on a really high note, Paul decided to take to the sky... literally! 

On Saturday morning, 5 November, Paul was all geared-up for his very first skydive.

As is normal for a first-time jumper, Paul was nervous before the jump. But luckily, one of the Mother City Skydive team members who is also an amputee took Paul under his wing. 

Jaun Burger explained the procedures and his experience of skydiving to Paul, after which Paul took the plunge... 




You can see a video of the skydive here: Soaring above circumstance: Skydive ends amputee's 7 000km trek across SA on high note


"Yes, I was nervous," said Paul after the jump. "Who wouldn't be? But, once I was in free fall and later floating under that canvas canopy, I just enjoyed the moment. It was awesome! I would do it anytime again."

Paul has completed about 6 500km of his journey and aims finish at the trek at Green Point Athletic Stadium on 2 December 2016. 

The main objective of the Paul Steyn Foundation, a registered charity he started in 2012, is to raise funds to assist disadvantaged amputees, who have no other means to acquire it, with prosthetic limbs.

So far, Paul has been able to assist six amputees with funds he raised, at an average cost of R60 000 per limb. 



What to read next on Traveller24

WATCH: First anti-poaching dog to skydive

PICS: Cape Town granny celebrates 100th birthday with shark cage dive after skydive!

PICS: Culture-shock start for SA actor cycling China's Silk Route