Her tongue was peeling and her arms were aching, but that didn’t stop super Deborah Herridge completing an epic cross-channel swim.
She swam from Dover to Wissant in France in a fundraising drive for five charities.
Deborah, who lives in Lee-on-the-Solent, set herself a goal of raising £5,000 – but currently has a total of £10,037.
She says that her swim was inspired by the Paralympic Games – which drove her to feel as though she should be doing something active as well.
The trials and tribulations of the swim, she says, are still taking their toll on her – but she doesn’t have any regrets.
Deborah said: ‘The swim itself took 17hrs 23mins to complete – the weather was quite challenging and it was very windy.
‘My arms have been aching ever since I finished, and the salt water meant that my tongue started to peel.
‘That being said, I am very happy to have succeeded, and to have raised so much money for charity.
‘I couldn’t have done this without the team I had behind me – they were brilliant.’
Deborah will be donating money to five charities – Canine Partners; Alzheimer’s Research UK; Macmillan Cancer Support; LHCH and Oakley Waterman.
She said: ‘I am really surprised that people have been so generous.
‘It is so wonderful that people have donated like this, so I am currently in the process of thanking everyone individually – it is the least I can do.’
Deborah has been donated a number of prizes, which she will be giving back to donators via a raffle.
She said: ‘For every £5 someone has donated, I have put a ticket in the raffle for them.
‘I have 111 prizes at the moment, from sports watches to bottles of champagne, and I want them to go to the people who have supported me on my journey.’
For now, Deborah will be putting her feet up – but won’t be out of the water for long.
‘I might go for a speed challenge next time,’ she said: ‘But I’m going to take a short break first.’
To donate to Deborah’s fundraiser, go to justgiving.com/teams/DeborahsEnglishChannelSwim.