Stephen is 67 and swims for fitness and health
I did the Aspire Channel Swim in 2017 but decided to take it on again this year because I’ve had three operations on my right leg since May which meant I was not as fit as I should be and I wanted my fitness back.
I had a nasty accident just over three years ago and was badly hurt so my doctors arranged for me to go to the swimming pool for aquarobics. I started to feel better and started swimming on my own. Then six months later I felt unwell getting out of the pool and collapsed back into the water. I was rushed to hospital with gangrene and burst appendix. This meant I couldn’t swim for two months, just after I’d got back into swimming again.
I have not stopped swimming since and have swum over 500 miles. But then came the operation which put me back again for five weeks. I enjoy swimming because it keeps the weight off my legs and hips.
Since I started swimming on a regular basis I have also lost nearly four stone and I can now go to the pool without feeling tired every time
I would recommend to anyone to take up swimming because it really is good for you. Take on the challenge; you will be surprised what it does for you as you raise funds for a great cause. I will do it again as long as I keep being able to, after breaking 52 bones and 11 titanium plates over the years. I have also had internal injuries and dislocated my spine. After the surgeon put me back together, this is the first time in years I feel really well. Although I was diagnosed with ostioarthritis and osteoporosis, I just have to go to hospital once a year for a full body scan.
Not bad for a 67 year old! I feel very proud. I don’t know anyone with a spinal cord injury but I feel very proud to raise money for Aspire