MOUND, Texas (KWTX) A woman from the small Mound community in Coryell County celebrated her 87th birthday by fulfilling her dream of jumping out of an airplane, with a parachute, of course.
"I didn't dream that I would be around here till I was 87 years old to do it this time, Lavinnia Willis said Thursday.
“You that's a lot of years.”
Inspired by late President George H.W. Bush, who took parachute jumps on his 80th, 85th and 90th birthdays, Willis decided she wanted to try skydiving, too.
A friend stepped up to help after he spotted her social media post about her dream of a parachute jump and four days after her Dec. 18 birthday, she was on a plane 14,000 feet in the air with her daughter, Ephie Hearne, who joined her mother in jumping with trained tandem partners.
“Watching and seeing my mom as she was floating down--it was a wonderful experience,” Hearne said.
"I am so proud of my mother. She lives every day to its fullest,” she said.
Willis ignored the entreaties of friends and relatives and even her doctor, all of whom advised against the adventure.
"I was not afraid at all. I don't know why? I should've been I guess," she said.
"It was just all there and so fast. I didn't have much time to think about anything except that I was doing it,” she said with a laugh.
"I haven't told my doctor,” she added.
“He's been my doctor for over 30 years. I usually do everything he tells me to do."