Northampton mum takes plunge to conquer fear of underwater swimming

A mum from Northampton says she has conquered her fear of going underwater after being inspired by her 15-month-old son.

Monday, 9th January 2017, 1:57 pm
Updated Monday, 9th January 2017, 1:57 pm
Katy Brown with her one-year-old son Jackson and Water Babies swimming teacher Emma Hardinges

Katy Brown, 35, gained the courage after watching her son, Jackson, who is a regular swimmer at Water Babies in Northampton.

She believes an accident on a school trip to the south of France, at the age of thirteen, was the root cause of her phobia.

Katy said: “I was on the back of a banana-dingy with a load of other children.

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“We all fell off and everyone except me managed to get back on and I had a massive panic attack - my arms wouldn’t work properly.

“It left me with this deep fear of going underwater, to the point that I’d have a rush of anxiety and feel physically sick just thinking about it.”

Her son Jackson first took to the pool aged just 12-weeks-old and now happily swims underwater.

Finally, last month, Katy took the plunge joining him under the water.

Katy said: “Taking that breath before going under was the only fear I had to conquer.

“Jackson was smiling and eager to go and we did it together.

“He’s taken to water like a fish and I just kept thinking, if my baby can do it - I can do it.

“I feel so proud and it’s a huge memory for us as a mother and child.

“I got a well done badge which I know probably sounds silly but to me, it was a huge, life-changing achievement.”

After a year watching Water Babies teacher, Emma Hardinges, take Jackson for his submerged swims, Katy felt she could miss out on the experience no longer.

With weeks of guidance and support from Emma and the Water Babies group, who meet at Moulton College, Katy donned a goggles and a nose clip and took the plunge.

She added: “I felt sick at first, really fearful because if I’d have gone under and panicked it would have been awful for me and for Jackson.

“It was wonderful, such an amazing moment- I’m glad I was able to share this life-moment with all the group.”