East Preston dad who nearly died will swim The Channel for his stepson’s school

Nigel Panter with Joey and his sister Isabella
Nigel Panter with Joey and his sister Isabella

An East Preston man who nearly died two years ago is taking part in a relay Channel swim to raise money for a community special school in Worthing.

Nigel Panter suffered a massive deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism two years ago, leaving him with 27 blood clots on his lungs.

Nigel Panter with his 'ray of sunshine' Joey

Nigel Panter with his 'ray of sunshine' Joey

With strength and determination, he has defied the odds and come out the other end of his illness fitter than ever.

Proud wife Lizzie Panter said: “Nigel was very poorly and was told he would not be able to walk more than 200 yards. He almost died.

“Nigel has always been a keen swimmer and it is his love of swimming that got his health back on track again.”

Nigel, 44, will be swimming The Channel in a mixed relay team with friends Jono Openshaw, Mark Gleeson and Mat Smart to raise money for Palatine School Friends Association. The boat is due to sail them to the starting point on Tuesday, September 24.

Lizzie said: “Hopefully they will smash the record for their category but whatever happens, he has so far raised more than £1,400 for Palatine School and the amazing work they do with children, who have a wide range of disabilities.

“Nigel and I have a son, Joey, who attends Palatine. Our little boy has come on leaps and bounds since attending this school and there was no question of which charity Nigel wanted to support when he set out on his mission to swim The Channel.”

Nigel said it was a wonderful school, helping children with special needs, including his ‘beautiful little boy’ Joey.

He said: “The school is helping to bring this incredible little boy, and my ray of sunshine, to a place that allows him to achieve his full potential.

“If I can add value to that special environment that would be the least I can do given what they are doing for Joey and his other classmates.

“Our team are going to swim from Dover to Calais across the English Channel. The team plan to compete the 28-mile journey in under 12 hours.”

Visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/nigel-panter2 to make a donation.