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Proud Sally swims the Channel

Proud Sally swims the Channel

Date of release: 23 September 2022

A Wolverhampton medic has raised a swim-pressive amount of money after taking on a deep challenge.

Last month, Dr Sally Edwards swam the English Channel and raised just over £5,000 for charities Cystic Fibrosis Care and Rays of Sunshine.

Latest News: Proud Sally swims the Channel

The Consultant Paediatrician has worked at The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust since 2015. 

Her job entails looking after children and young people with medical conditions and she is the clinical lead for Acute Paediatrics, helping to manage a large department. She has a particular interest in Cystic Fibrosis, other respiratory conditions and allergy.

The 44-year-old swam 22 miles from Samphire Hoe in Dover to Cap Gris Nes in France without a wetsuit, stopping only to feed (liquid carbohydrate drinks every 30 minutes). 

She said: “Only 2,300 people – which includes about 750 women – have ever swum the Channel. As a swimmer, this is classed as an ultra-marathon swim and swimming is what I’m good at!

“To swim the Channel you have to book an escort pilot about two to three years in advance, complete six hours of qualifying swim in water less than 15.5c, have a medical sign off and train.

“My training events included a 50-mile training camp in Croatia, the British Long Distance Swimming Association’s Dover Champion of Champions, an eight-mile Torbay swim (finishing as first female) and 100% Swimming’s The Dolly which is an eight hour night swim from 9pm-5am.

“On the day I set off at 1.20am with the first four hours in darkness. Swell due to previous days wind meant difficult conditions for almost six hours. The temperature of the water was approximately 19c. There were also lots of jellyfish but no stings, thankfully!”

After a gruelling 13 hours and 47 minutes Sally completed the crossing.

The mum-of-two said: “I feel elated, physically and mentally exhausted and incredibly proud to have completed this swim.

“I lost my mum to COVID-19 in January 2021. She hadn't been overly keen on the challenge as a mutual friend died one mile from France at 35-years-old several years before. 

“My friends and family wanted me to remain safe over everything, but know that when I get an idea, I don’t give up easily. Their first reaction was ‘wow’, they don't know many people who could do this, even if they wanted to. One friend was particularly impressed as I have child-sized feet!”

“I have enjoyed this success the most as only about 60 per cent of those who set off complete the swim successfully. I also met a lot of amazing swimmers with incredible stories along the way.

“The most difficult thing was trying to train around pandemic restrictions, looking after a young family and full-time work.

“I am so happy people have supported me and donated to this cause as patients with Cystic Fibrosis are being inequitably hit by the ‘cost of living’ crisis and personal independence payment cuts. 

“Cystic Fibrosis Care provides equipment, support and grants to help families living with the condition. Rays of Sunshine funds experiences and holiday grants to children with life-limiting conditions, including Cystic Fibrosis. Five thousand pounds is a fraction of what these charities need to do their work but they are extremely grateful for all fundraising efforts.”

Sally doesn’t plan to stop there as she will be speaking to her coach from Red Top Swim about other endurance swims in the future.

If you would like to read about Sally’s journey in more detail, go to her blog page at https://sallyswims.blogspot.com.

You can still donate to Sally’s JustGiving page here:- https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sallyswimssolo

Press release issued by the Communications team. For more information contact the team on 01902 695884
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