Clarence Turner, 87, of Warren County undertook the jump as a part of tandem dive with an instructor in the skies over Waynesville. His motivation was his 11-month-old great grandson, Julian Couch, who has remained hospitalized since his birth according to the Cincinnati NBC station, WLWT.
Julian suffers from a rare protein deficiency and endured a lung transplant this past Mother’s Day. Turner is trying to help Julian’s family with the medical costs which have topped $1 million. There will be another fundraiser on June 2.
Turner suited up and then crouched and leaped with his instructor from the aircraft. The pair enjoyed a pleasant free-fall before releasing the parachute and drifting gradually to the ground.
Turner’s skydiving experience does not bring him anywhere close to being the parachuting equivalent of a frequent flyer but he has jumped before. During WWII, Turner was in the Army and made 16 jumps. He has made two jumps since his discharge, the most recent this past November.
Julian’s parents have struggled with more than just the medical bills and the stress of their son’s condition. Since his birth, they have been forced to spend a great deal of time at the hospital caring for and nurturing their child. While they have been away from their home, the house has been burglarized and their car has been stolen, according to Turner. The skydive was his way of helping the family out.