Christopher Rooke, from Wallingford, is celebrating raising over £600 for Oxford Hospitals Charity, and possibly setting a new swimming world record.

Over the summer he set himself a challenge to swim 100 yards at his local outdoor pool.

And for Christopher, this was no mean feat.

The 69-year-old lost the use of both kidneys five years ago, after being diagnosed with Goodpastures Syndrome – a rare and very serious auto-immune condition, where the body turns against itself and destroys major organs. The year before, he had also been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease as well as heart failure.

Much of Christopher’s life revolves around hospital appointments as he needs lengthy dialysis three times a week. So he decided to set himself a challenge to keep positive and also raise funds to thank the hospital staff who care for him.

He started swimming at the local outdoor pool in Crowmarsh, near Wallingford, and explains: ‘I like swimming and enjoy the sun, warmth and laughter you get at this special outdoor pool.

‘For me, it feels like an escape into a different world when I am there – a happy place away from all my medical treatment. Swimming was a rather fun thing to do and I wanted to stretch myself as well.’

At the start of his training at Wallingford Riverside Pool, Christopher could complete four length of the pool - 100 yards - in about 30 minutes.

Over time, with the help and encouragement of his carers, Hazel and Laura, he reduced this to 15 minutes, then on 23rd August, as his fitness and mobility improved, he swam the distance in just eight minutes and 10 seconds, which was timed and authenticated by pool staff member, Ben Titchener.

After the triumphant swim, he treated himself to a Magnum ice cream, which to some may seem a small reward but as Christopher said, ‘Because I am dialysis patient, my diet restricts foods containing potassium and phosphates - which is nearly everything! -  so having a Magnum was nearly as thrilling as the swim itself.’

Christopher’s partner, Amanda Vines, said: ‘We are so proud of Christopher for his swimming triumph.

‘The limitations imposed on his body by these three conditions have made this swim a huge challenge, but he persevered to achieve his goal.

‘From what we can tell this is the fastest anyone with his combination of conditions has swum 100 meters, and we were all really thrilled when the pool put him on their leader board. It’s been a real boost.’

‘I can’t emphasise enough how grateful we are to Dr Phil Mason, Christopher’s Renal Consultant, Ellie, his wonderful dialysis nurse, and Diana and the team at the Tarver Dialysis Ward. They all go beyond the call of duty and without their care Christopher would not be alive today.’ We’d also like to thank Dr Simon Knight Christopher’s Vascular Access surgeon who resolved a year of uncertainty by creating a vascular graft.’

Christopher was awarded an engraved trophy to recognise his amazing achievement and has now that all the donations have come in he has raised £640 for the Tarver Dialysis Ward at the Churchill Hospital, Oxford, where he has been receiving kidney dialysis for five years.

Lorna Eaton, Supporter Care Assistant at Oxford Hospitals Charity said, ‘I can’t say enough how lovely it has been hearing this story, it’s an amazing accomplishment and has inspired us all.

‘We would like to say a massive thank you to Christopher and everyone who supported him on his swimming and fundraising achievements – and look forward to seeing him back in the pool next summer.

If Christopher’s incredible efforts have inspired you to support your local hospitals visit to find out how you can also make a difference.