A WOMAN with multiple sclerosis took on a skydive to raise money for a charity which supports those with the condition - but she had a fright when her parachute failed and she was left freefalling through the air.

Ruth Holloway was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in April 2015 after she lost the vision in her left eye six years prior, sparking a series of tests and meetings with doctors.

But following confirmation that her strange symptoms were attributable to the condition, rather than dwell over potentially drastic changes to her life Ruth decided to do something entirely different - jump out of a plane for the MS Society, a charity that funds research and support to help people with MS.

And while what to do in the event of a parachute failure was discussed before the jump in Lancaster last month, Ruth admits she didn’t take it as seriously as she wished she had when she found herself plummeting through the sky.

“I spun around a bit and the next thing I knew my parachute came shooting across my face to the side,” said Ruth, 38, from Longfield Drive, Mapplewell.

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“I saw it there in front of me and then saw it float along to the left and realised it wasn’t attached.

“This all happened in the space of two or three seconds.

“I could then hear the instructor talking to me, saying he needed to get inside my top and went on to explain how the emergency parachute works.”

Ruth came away unscathed - and she says it hasn’t put her off doing another jump - as her instructor, to whom she was secured, was able to release her reserve parachute in plenty of time.

However husband James, and daughters Libby, six, and Phoebe, four, watched on through their fingers from the ground.

“I’m the type of person to look at the positives rather than the negatives,” Ruth said.

“It was a glorious day. I really enjoyed the sensation of just falling through the sky and feeling the clouds.

“It did hit me a couple of days later and I burst into tears at the gym, just with the shock of thinking about what could’ve happened.”

Ruth set a Just Giving page up in March and was ‘absolutely blown away’ to find she had met her target of £395 in just three days.

Her total raised now sits at more than £1,800 - more than four times her initial goal.

Her brother Richard Prior, 40, who lives in Manchester, also took part in the skydive and has raised another £721.

Ruth said: “It was a little bit different to doing a run or a bun sale.

“A lot of people said I was crazy but I just wanted to get on with it and enjoy the experience.”

That money will go towards research into the condition - caused when the coating that protects nerves is damaged, which leads to a wide range of symptoms including weakness, vision problems and problems with co-ordination and balance - and what can be done to treat it.

Since being diagnosed with MS, though, Ruth has not let it get in her way - continuing to work and go to the gym as normal.

“Not many people know because you look fine, it’s all internal,” she said.

“Day-to-day I’m fine, I do have a tremor and I’m a teacher so sometimes the children see it and ask about it. I have to keep an eye on how much I do, and if I overexert myself.

“Having support from family and friends has been important and I’ve carried on working throughout but I’ve gone down to part-time now.

“Knowing there’s quite a lot of support out there, since signing up for the jump, has been very important to me.”

Ruth’s Just Giving page can be found at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/r-holloway.