Doctor’s Channel challenge

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Photo: Melinda Jane

Freezing temperatures, 32 kilometres and over 13 hours of swimming is what Dr Stuart Lane is preparing to face when he swims the English Channel to raise money for Nepean Hospital.

The 44-year-old doctor, who works in the Intensive Care Unit at Nepean Hospital, has been preparing for the past 12 months for the gruelling swim.

“I’ve been doing between 40 and 50 kilometres a week for the past six months and before that 40 kilometres a week for the previous six months,” he said.

While most of us have been trying to avoid Sydney’s colder weather, Dr Lane has been embracing it as part of his training routine.

“I’ve been going to Bondi and swimming between four and six hours in Bondi up and down the actual bay just to acclimatise to the cold,” he said.

As well as physical exhaustion, battling mental fatigue is a major component of the swim.

Dr Lane knows he’ll have to find ways to deal with this.

“It’s the boredom, the loneliness and the fatigue,” he said.

“There’s big dark holes that you can fall into.”

Despite the obstacles, Dr Lane is excited to reach his personal goal and raise much needed funds for intensive care research and training.

“The Channel was always something I wanted to do from a personal perspective but I wanted to make it mean something even more and raise money for a cause that I thought was really worthwhile,” he said.

“I’m quite excited by the whole thing.”

With the goal to reach $21,000 in donations – $1000 for every mile of the swim – Dr Lane is hoping to establish a follow-up intensive care clinic at Nepean Hospital for patients once they have been discharged.

“Often their normal GP support network or normal things in the community haven’t got the ability to explain what they’ve been through and why they’re feeling the way they’re feeling,” he explained.

“It’s something so specialised and intense and only the people who are aware of it can give an insight.”

To follow Dr Lane’s journey leading up to the big swim on July 28, visit cspf.co.uk/tracking and select the boat named Anastasia.

To donate to Dr Lane’s goal of $21,000 and help him achieve his dream, head online and visit crowdfunding.sydney.edu.au/project/6890.

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