A TEENAGE swimmer who nearly died from a rare brain condition is to get back in the water for a charity gala.
Former Yorkshire champion Charlotte Squires is hoping to swim as part of the first race at a swimming gala since spending her 18th birthday undergoing life saving laser brain surgery.
Charlotte, now 19, was diagnosed with an arteriovenous malformation or AVM, where the veins and arteries do not form properly preventing blood from flowing properly through the brain.
Her condition, which lay undetected until a swimming accident when she split her head open, can only be treated with a laser to decrease its size.
She said: “I spent a month in hospital, and then was told what it was - and they thought I had been born with it.
“I’ve gone from swimming three nights a week competitively, being Yorkshire champion and doing other sporting activities, to nothing at all.
“I struggle to walk without being in pain and tried.
“So from doing loads to nothing has made it really frustrating for me.”
Charlotte, of High Street, Dunsville, had experienced bad migraines since she was three, but doctors were unable to find anything wrong.
But after the pool accident when she was 17 she started experiencing worse headaches and losing the feeling in her hands and feet, which is when she was diagnosed with the condition.
After a month in Doncaster Royal Infirmary, Charlotte was transferred to the Sheffield’s Hallamshire Hospital for pioneering gamma knife surgery.
As a result of the combination of surgery and medication to help her recover she has had to cut her studies at Hall Cross School to an hour a day.
Charlotte, was a swimmer for South Axholme Sharks, Doncaster Dartes and Edlington Swimming Club.
She is now planning the gala, in aid of Neurocare, a charity which helps fund equipment and support services for people with brain conditions.
Charlotte, is now appealing for anyone who could help sponsor a team or provide raffle prizes for the swimming gala to get in touch with her.
The event will take place at Adwick Leisure Centre on Sunday, June 24, and swimming teams from around Doncaster are being invited to take part.
To help with fundraising Charlotte at firstname.lastname@example.org