Hi, my name is Ella, and I would like to introduce you to Andy, my dad,
Andy became part of my life when I was very young, and I consider myself immensely lucky to have not one but two dads in my life. It was Andy who taught me how to know when a chicken is cooked, and it was Andy who held my hand and stood beside me on the days that exist only in the darkest parts of my mind.
Other than how to cook a chicken. Andy has also taught me a lesson I will carry with me for the rest of my life; this is a lesson in adventure and the strength of the human mind and body.
On the 19th of July in 2000 (when I was just four months old), Andy's life changed forever following a catastrophic motorcycle accident. His leg was badly crushed, and he became an above knee amputee. The emergency surgery took 10 hours, 80 units of blood were used, and Andy went into cardiac arrest multiple times.
Now, 22 years later, Andy is 60 years old, but the last 22 years haven't been a seamless recovery. Life, of course, is never simple nor straightforward and even after a second surgery to remove more of Andy's leg, he is still unable to wear a prosthetic for long periods of time.
Swimming has offered Andy an opportunity to stay healthy and build his strength without feeling less able. (Other than when he treads water and spins around in circles ;-)) His journey with Open Water Swimming began seriously in April 2021 at a few locations in Nottinghamshire before he settled on Hoveringham and Love Open Water as his favourite place to swim.
Fast forward a few months, and he heard about a team of amputees planning to swim the North Channel. - We (his family) all gritted our teeth and hoped he wouldn't make the completely insane decision to contact them and consider joining. Nevertheless, in no time, Andy connected with the team via the charity Bluetonic. Luckily there was no space for him in the team, so we could all take a deep breath...
Of course, that changed, and Andy became the fifth member of the amputee relay team, 'Bits Missing'. They may only have five legs, but they have a limitless supply of strength, determination and an unshakable belief in one another.
There is no neoprene allowed for these swims, so Andy will only be wearing his swimming trunks, a swimming cap and goggles. Oh, and there are these really big jellyfish that we apparently don't talk about lol.
Anyway, before I send you to sleep, my Dad may be too proud to ask, but I am not.
He is a phenomenal man who has continued to overcome challenges that some are lucky enough to go a lifetime without, and this June, he is facing a challenge to not only push his mind and body to the limit but also to demonstrate to others what you can truly be capable of.
So, please, if you can, donate below to support him.
What are you donating funds for?
Swim training, swim fees, pilot fees, medicals and ad hoc expenses (unforeseen expenses associated with swims).
Swimming the channel, aside from being a huge challenge, is also a huge expense as everything from the boat to a medical assessment have to be paid for in advance. Therefore, any donations will go towards all of these things meaning Andy can wake up at 5 am worried about Jellyfish, not money.
Any funds not used for the channel swim will be donated to Bluetonic to help other people like Andy to have a fulfilled life inclusive of challenges they choose to face instead of those they are forced to overcome.
Thank you in anticipation,