Pair's daring leap in memory of pal

Two friends of a woman who died after suffering a cardiac arrest have completed a skydive in her memory.

Cambridge graduate Philippa Holmes died, aged 24, after collapsing at home in Duffield in June last year.

She had signed the organ donor register, which meant parts of her body, including her lungs, liver and kidneys, helped save the lives of others.

Almost a year later, the exact cause of her death has still not been determined and an inquest is yet to be held.

But her father, John Holmes, said it was possible she died of an undetected heart condition.

This is why pals Sarah McLoughlin and Rachel Reynolds took on the skydive in aid of national charity Cardiac Risk in the Young, which helps raise awareness of the dangers of undiagnosed heart problems.

Sarah, 25, of Mansfield Road, Chester Green, and Rachel, 24, of Duffield Road, Little Eaton, have raised £1,500 so far with more sponsorship money still to be collected.

Sarah said they had been inspired to take on the challenge at Nottinghamshire's Langar Airfield because Philippa did a skydive while travelling in New Zealand.

Sarah said: "We wanted to raise money for the charity and knew a skydive was something which Phil had enjoyed.

"It wasn't as nerve-wracking as we'd thought – I think we both had a big adrenalin rush."

Mr Holmes, 59, said he and wife Madeleine were very proud of the girls.

He said: "They have been very supportive.

"They came round to the house, they phone to see if we're all right and they sent us flowers at Christmas.

"They've been in and out of our house for years and they've kept coming.

"We're so proud that they've jumped out of a plane to raise money which might help prevent other families going through what we have been going through and are still going through."

Philippa collapsed on June 21 last year and was taken to the former City Hospital, now Royal Derby.

The former Ecclesbourne School pupil died the next day.

She graduated with first-class honours from Cambridge, completed a Masters degree, travelled the world and was due to begin a PhD.

Mr Holmes said the family had been given a lot of information about the people who had benefited from Philippa's organs.

He said

: "We know her lungs went to a mother and her liver went to a middle-aged man.

"There are at least four people who would definitely died without her organs."

After her death, Philippa's parents and her 23-year-old sister, Fiona, were tested for heart problems.

Mr Holmes said they were due to meet again with their consultant but so far nothing had been detected.

To sign up for the NHS Organ Donor Register call 0300 123 23 23 or see

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