Meet the 99-year-old kayaking for the NHS after great-grandson's brain surgery

Elaine Gray raised more than £800 for the Bristol Children's Hospital after her grandson had an 18-hour brain surgery Credit: Cathy Gillard

A 99-year-old woman has kayaked around a lake in Devon to raise money for the NHS after her great-grandson underwent an 18-hour brain surgery.

Elaine Gray, from Torquay, did the charity challenge on Decoy Lake on Wednesday 14 July in aid of Bristol Children's Hospital.

She told ITV News she wanted to show how grateful she was for all the care given to her great-grandson, Remy, when he underwent brain surgery. She has now raised more than £800.

Seven-year-old Remy was admitted to hospital in March 2021 after having trouble with his sight. After he underwent a series of tests, doctors thought he had a brain tumour.

He then went through an 18-hour operation which saw surgeon clip off his carotid artery on one side and remove the lump - which turned out to be a giant thrombosed aneurysm.

Remy now has limited sight in one eye but is back in school.

Elaine said she has always loved the water and so she needed no persuading to get into her kayak.

"I've always loved a reason to get into a kayak and have a go on the water," she said. "So it seemed a good excuse.

"We did one in November 2021 and raised just over £2000 for the NHS Devon Partnership Trust kayaking on the Exeter cancel. It was a lovely day and everyone had a good time".

Elaine was given a canoe by her husband many years ago which she loved taking on the water. But at the age of 85, Elaine's daughters asked her to stop using it as as she was unable to roll.

"They told me if I capsized then I wouldn't be able to get out of it," Elaine said. "I went straight out and bought a kayak, then another, and then another."

Remy joined his dad to form a support team for Elaine on her latest kayak trip around the lake.

Elaine said: "Thank you very very much to everyone who has donated, it's much appreciated. I'm sure that Bristol Children's Hospital will benefit from your kind donations."

When asked about any future fundraising plans Elaine replied: "What future? I'm nearly 100! Well I will be 100 in October - I take every day at a time."