‘Crazy old lady’ takes to a helicopter for birthday treat

Betty Frost.
Betty Frost.

There was no way Betty Frost was going to celebrate her 90th birthday quietly.

What should her children buy her to mark the milestone? A helicopter ride.

After all, Betty has always been a bit of a daredevil, joining parachute jumps and abseils to raise more than £5,000 for Weston Park Hospital where she has been treated for cancer.

“I am a bit of a crazy old lady and have always had an obsession with heights,” she said. “I’m one of those people who will walk to the edge of a cliff and happily look down without batting an eye.

“Weston Park Hospital means a lot to me and they have been treating my cancer now for 12 years and I’m just so happy I have been able to say ‘thank you’ by raising money this way.”

Betty, who lives at the council’s Elm Tree House sheltered scheme, abseiled 200ft down the side of the Royal Hallamshire Hospital for Weston Park in 1998 and she hasn’t looked down since.

Only last month, she completed a sponsored walk in Graves Park, helped by her son and daughter-in-law, but managing the last few yards unaided.

She raised £500 for the hospital where she has undergone radiotherapy, chemotherapy and had many operations to treat malignant melanomas.

Sheltered housing manager Rhian Owen said: “Betty is a great example of someone who is living life to the full despite their age and individual circumstances. We are all very proud of her achievements.”

Council cabinet member Harry Harpham said: “Betty is an inspiration to all of us and there is a lesson to be learned. Never give up hope, Betty hasn’t.”

So what’s next, after the helicopter ride? “Who knows? I’ve always fancied a go at that wingwalking!”