National Inclusion Week: Paralympic swimming champion Hannah Russell meets para-swimmer Ethan Naisbitt

National Inclusion Week: Paralympic swimming champion Hannah Russell meets para-swimmer Ethan Naisbitt

Ethan's lungs were not fully developed, and he was on a ventilator for three months. He told three-time Paralympic champion Hannah Russell: "My parents were told most ventilated for longer than a month will not survive. But I went against all odds and survived."

With a 10 per cent chance of survival, continuous leg surgeries, and heart surgery in 2017, Ethan discovered swimming at seven years old and has not looked back since.

Hannah, an S12 swimmer, who was born with a visual impairment, fell in love with the water from a young age, leading her to be referred to as "the water baby".

Russell said: "In many sports, I have to catch a ball which was difficult growing up, but swimming made me feel safe.

"I remember in 2008 I was watching the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Beijing with my family. I watched Rebecca Adlington and Ellie Simmonds achieve their gold medals. It inspired me, and I turned to my parents and said, that is what I want to do, that is what I want to achieve, that is what I want to become".

Russell was awarded an OBE for services to swimming and retaining her Paralympic title in Tokyo 2020. She recently announced her retirement from elite-level competition.

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