Face Everything and Rise (FEAR), a charity that supports, educates and provides information to those living on artificial nutrition runs regular swim events.
FEAR Swim days are designed for adults and children (plus family and friends), whose lives involve enteral or parenteral nutrition, intestinal failure or long-term IV treatments (such as chemotherapy and dialysis).
“Whether you swim with a Drysuit, CathDry, Stoma Bag or any other form of swim dressing, ‘FEAR Swim Days’ are a fantastic opportunity for you to swim in a fun environment with your friends and family,” said Kim Purkis, founder of the charity.
Kim was an international high board diver and full-time teacher leading a very active and sporting life, until a sudden illness left her with intestinal failure aged 26. She was diagnosed as having Gastroparesis.
She spent three months in hospital and was left to face a life of Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN) – only able to receive nutrition via an intravenous tube. All the nutrients that she needs are contained in a solution administered through a small permanent catheter which is placed in a main vein, bypassing the usual process of eating and digestion.
“As a high board diver I used to spend a lot of time in swimming pools and I knew how enjoyable swimming was for so many people,” said Kim (pictured above right at swim event).
"But when you are artificially fed, accessing swimming becomes extremely difficult for a lot of families.
"Whether you wear a specialised dry suit to offset the danger of infection, or your feeding tube is visible, swimming can leave you feeling vulnerable to people staring.
"This is why we run monthly swimming events exclusively for children and adults, and their families, who are artificially fed. The sessions provide opportunities for families to swim with confidence and privacy, in a fun environment.”
This month’s swim events will take place on February 10th at the Rotherham Leisure Centre, Effingham Street, Rotherham, S65 1BL (3pm-5pm) and on February 24th at Romsey Rapids, Southampton Road, Romsey SO51 8AF (4pm-6pm).
For further information go to https://www.faceeverything.co.uk/fear-daysor read more about the charity and Kim Purkis in the current issue of Living with Disability.