Gertrude Painter, 96, Dies Moments Before Her 10th Rappel For Charity

07/31/2012 12:37 pm ET | Updated Jul 31, 2012

Gertrude Painter dedicated herself to charity until the very end.

The 96-year-old visually impaired philanthropist from West Sussex, England, suffered a heart attack on Saturday just before participating in her 10th abseiling, or rappelling, charity event, according to the BBC.

"She passed away doing what she loved best -- raising money for charities that supported children with cancer and people with visual impairment," her family told the Mirror.

Painter was rappelling to raise money for 4Sight, an organization dedicated to supporting those who are either fully or partially blind, according to the BBC.

The charity fundraiser -- involving a 70-foot descent from the roof of Crawley Hospital in West Sussex, England -- was called off after the hospital pronounced Painter dead, the Mirror reports.

The feat was to be the philanthropist's 10th abseil for charity, and would contribute to her impressive past charitable contributions, which included donations to assorted organizations exceeding $15,000.

Her family told the BBC that Painter would have wanted her story to inspire others to follow in her charitable footsteps.

"…Although she would have been disappointed not to complete [the event], she would have wanted everyone to be inspired by her efforts, and to continue to give generously to such worthy causes."

Related on HuffPost:


Greatest People Of The Day
Suggest a correction