Collier Row mother swims to battle digestive disease

PUBLISHED: 15:23 28 October 2015 | UPDATED: 10:36 29 October 2015

Jane Hatwell, from Collier Row, swam 22 miles in 22 days to battle a digestive disease

Jane Hatwell, from Collier Row, swam 22 miles in 22 days to battle a digestive disease


A 44-year-old woman suffering from a disease of the digestive system swam the 22 mile distance of the English Channel in 22 days.

Jane Hatwell, of Collier Row, who has ulcerative colitis decided to complete the challenge by swimming a mile a day and raised £270 for Aspire, a charity which supports people paralysed by spinal cord injury.

The mother of two, who describes herself as “a very fit active person with an outgoing active lifestyle” relapsed for the second time last year and her condition remains unstable.

“Being deprived of freedom, sleep, food and so on brought me to another level of hunger. It made me want to complete the challenge more. I had a point to prove.

“This illness has dominated and consumed my life for over a year now. There were days when I could barely get out of bed due to ongoing pain. I would literally drag myself to the pool and there I found my strength through swimming.”

Jane was diagnosed in 2008 and was put on prescription food drinks for eight months, as her body was rejecting food. She is only now slowly re-introducing food into her diet.

She said: “This terrible debilitating illness gradually robbed me of my social life, my independence and confidence and eventually my job.

“Through all the pain and sickness I have always tried to remain focused and still managed to keep up some of my fitness levels within reason even though it’s been a real struggle at times.”

Jane decided to leap in the pool when her father, a swimming teacher and a member of the Royal Life Saving Club passed away in 2012.

Her mother attended most of her swims during the challenge and has been “a rock” as she battled to recover.

“I truly believe I have swum myself back into fitness,” Jane added.

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