Thank you for taking the time to visit my page. I took on the challenge of a solo swim across the 21miles from Dover to France in August 2018 to fund a new development for making 3D reconstructions of baby hearts to help plan and carry out heart surgery for the children of the South West and further afield.It was a gruelling challenge but completed this in 12hrs 42 minutes and at 63yrs old took the Channel Swimming Association Award for the oldest person to successfully swim across in 2018 ( The Paul O'Clee Trophy). I am now taking on new challenges with ultra marathon swimming and am looking at a solo swim of Loch Ness in 2020 for the Bristol Royal Children's Hospital Grand Appeal and the Regional Paediatric Cardiac Unit.
Having worked as a consultant at the Bristol Children's Hospital for over 20 years looking after children with cardiac disease, I wanted to facilitate the availability of this new cutting-edge technology which can help the cardiac team, carers and children with heart problems. Making high fidelity 3D copies of paediatric hearts will enable the cardiac team to plan and prepare for the surgeries and even practice the procedures before carrying out the surgery. It also enables the team to explain and show in detail to parents and children what the problem is and how it can be fixed. This cutting-edge technique will be one of the first facilities of its kind in the UK. We hope it can also be developed to help in surgeries with other non-cardiac problems.
I have been a swimmer since I was young and in 2017 successfully completed a relay across the English Channel in September with my colleagues to raise money for the Bristol Royal Children's Hospital. I then chose to swim the whole way alone apart from with a Pilot Boat. A Channel swim according to the official rules is done without a wetsuit and requires the swimmer to cope with cold water, darkness, seasickness, jellyfish and choppy seas.Taking on this challenge was daunting: more people have stood on top of Everest than have swum the Channel. However, I put many hours of training in over the winter including cold swims in Clevedon Marine lake in zero degrees water temperature and just a pair of speedos! I was also supported by an amazing team on the boat who kept me mentally focussed and fuelled to undertake the challenge. Compared to some of the challenges that our children with heart disease cope with: this was pretty straightforward. we had an award winning film maker on our team and boat. Sash Snoe made a wonderful film documenting the swim and 3D bioprinting for children's Heart disease. Do please view it: https://bit.ly/ThePrintedHeart
All of this is being done to raise money for this novel technology for children with heart diseases and associated conditions. So, any support no matter how big or small would be gratefully received and will edge me closer to reaching my target to set up a sustainable cardiac reconstruction facility for the children of the South West and beyond.
To make a donation, just click on the donate button and follow the instructions. You can also donate by mobile phone: simply text 70070 and make a donation by texting "SOLO57£5" or more.