A STRAMSHALL mother has handed over nearly £13,000 to a life-saving charity raised from an epic swim inspired by her courageous daughter left in a wheelchair after a hit and run crash.
Cathy Tench took on the challenge of swimming 100 lengths of the pool at Uttoxeter Leisure Centre earlier this year along with friend Suzanne Reed.
She initially set a target of raising £1,000 for the Midland’s Air Ambulance, chosen after her 37-yearold daughter Lizzie was knocked off her bicycle near her home in Cheshire in March sustaining a major spinal injury.
However, when she handed over the cheque to the charity at its Tatenhill base along with her daughter and husband Les, the final figure was a staggering £12,848.
Mrs Tench told the Advertiser: “We are completely bowled over by the amount we have raised. We started off with a target of £1,000 but quite quickly had to change to £5,000. We never envisaged being able to raise so much.
“People are so generous but also there is a huge respect for the amazing work that the air ambulance does. We have received some very generous donations.
“It has been a very humbling experience to read messages of support and admiration for Lizzie on the website.
“We are so grateful for the support from family and friends all over the world — but also to local people who have dug deep. Thank you for your encouragement.
“We are also very grateful to Nathan and the staff of Uttoxeter Leisure Centre who went out of their way to help with our training and on the day of the Swimathon.” Mrs Tench said her daughter, who grew up in Stramshall and was a keen swimmer with the Dove Valley Swimming Club, is continuing to make great progress in her recovery.
She said: “Lizzie continues to amaze us with her determination and inspiration. It’s more than five months since the accident and she is making huge progress in living independently.
“She’s looking forward to getting her custom-built wheelchair and the day when her adapted car arrives.
“She’s swimming in the hydro pool three to four times a week and will be competing in the interunit games at Stoke Manderville hospital next year.
“I don’t know about her being proud of us but we are just bursting with pride in her achievements.”