‘My angel’ – Royston teacher skydives in memory of son who died aged 21
08:41 08 May 2014
A mother skydived from 15,000ft at the weekend in memory of her son.
Erica Clark’s son Tristan died from a pulmonary embolism – a blockage in the artery which carries blood from the heart to the lungs – in March last year, four days after returning from New Zealand.
The 21-year-old, who graduated with a 2:1 in law from the University of East Anglia in June 2012, had skydived while travelling in New Zealand and on his return told his mother that they should do one together.
Mrs Clark, deputy head of Roysia Middle School in Royston, decided to take the plunge on Saturday as a tribute to her son.
She said: “I wish that we would have been able to skydive together but that is not now possible so I did it for him – my angel.
“The only way to describe the skydive was exhilarating. I did it with three of Tristan’s housemates from university and the whole experience was amazing.
“He would have loved it and there was no doubt in my mind of not doing it.”
Mrs Clark also spoke to the Crow about the moments leading up to the death of her son, who she said was “really happy” and had “so much confidence” after returning from travelling.
Tristan, who wanted to train as a barrister, had been to Cambridge with his best friend, Matt, the day before he died. He returned on the train with his sister Florence, as they were supposed to go out for a family meal with his grandparents.
Mrs Clark said: “We were meant to go out but he kept saying he was really tired and just lay on the sofa. I made him eat some food and then sent him off to bed. That was the last time I ever saw him alive.
“The next morning I shouted through the door and assumed he was still asleep, so I went off to work.
“Later that day my parents came round the house to see him. When no one answered the door my dad let himself in and went up to his room.
“His foot was sticking out of from the quilt and when my dad shook it to wake him he said it was icy cold. He knew something was wrong and tried to get him out of the bed to perform CPR but Tristan was too heavy.
“He called for an ambulance then rang me at school to tell me that Tristan wasn’t well.
“The police came and picked me up from school and took me home. I ran up to his room and the moment I saw him I knew it wasn’t him anymore.
“I just couldn’t let go of him because I knew once they took his body away I would never have my angel again.”
Mrs Clark completed the skydive to raise money for Amnesty International UK – which she chose due to her son’s ambitions to become a barrister.
So far she has raised more than £2,000 for the cause.
To make a donation, visit www.justgiving.com/Erica-Clark