Visually impaired Jersey teen and stroke survivor are flying high

Nicole was previously told that flying a plane would be impossible because of her condition. Credit: ITV Channel TV

Two islanders hit by adversity are defying the odds by learning how to fly.

16-year-old Nicole Chamacho, who is partially sighted, and stroke survivor Ant Lewis' dreams came true after the charity Helping Wings Jersey gave them a bursary to train.

Nicole has macular disease in her left eye, which stops her from being able to see properly.

She was previously told that flying a plane would be impossible because of her condition.

However, she has always refused to let it stop her from achieving great things, having already made a name for herself as a player for St Lawrence Netball Club.

In addition, she attends the Jersey Sea Cadets, volunteers for the island's Covid-19 response team and was recently presented with a Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Meanwhile, former Assistant Editor of the Jersey Evening Post, Ant Lewis, survived a stroke in 2007 and struggles with his speech and mobility.

Talking to ITV Channel TV after having a go in a plane, he said: "Words fail me. Best day ever."

Helping Wings works with islanders who would not otherwise get the chance to fly.

The charity was set up in 2008 and has helped over 150 people enjoy a day out at the aero club.

Islanders are always accompanied by at least one experienced pilot and undergo a thorough briefing before taking to the skies above Jersey.