Swimming challenge for Meningitis survivor

A meningitis survivor from the Wirral is to attempt a 21-mile sponsored swim to help fund research into the illness.

Michael Smethurst, 58, wants to help save future generations from meningitis by completing the swim, equivalent to crossing the English Channel, at Europa Pool, near his home.

Michael survived meningococcal meningitis and septicaemia in February 2009. At first, Michael thought he had the flu and stayed in bed where he felt progressively worse. His wife Jacqueline returned home to find him incoherent. Michael was unable to support his own weight and fell over, breaking his wrist.

Michael's been telling Heart about his time in hospital

Michael Smethurst talks to Heart

Now, Michael is to take on his swimming challenge on May 1 to raise money for Meningitis UK which works to develop preventative vaccines.  He's swimming 21 miles, at the Europa Pool in Birkenhead, who're supporting him through his challenge.