A woman recovering from a stroke of the spine is to swim a mile next month to raise money for the hospital unit which treated her.

Addingham resident Fiona Mann, who for many years organised the charitable Holly Ball in Ilkley, was left paralysed from the waist down by a stroke last summer.

She spent almost two months in hospital, two weeks initially at Leeds General Infirmary, followed by five weeks on ward five at Airedale General Hospital, which specialises in treating stroke patients.

Today, she says she is making a slow but good recovery with a lot of help and support from friends and family.

Mrs Mann is full of praise for the care she received, but noticed – particularly at Airedale – that staff were overstretched and some basic bathing equipment in the hospital was badly in need of replacement.

She plans to swim a mile, or 64 lengths, on Friday, March 14, to raise money for at least one bath chair for ward five.

Mrs Mann said: “Having previously swum several miles a week at Skipton, including a mile in 40 minutes the day before my stroke, a sponsored swim seemed like the obvious choice to raise some funds.

“However, the most I’ve managed since June is 26 lengths as my mobility is very limited and I still can’t feel my legs properly – so this is going to be a real challenge.”

She has so far raised more than £600 for the cause – but if she manages to raise £4,000, the Steeton hospital will be able to buy the specialist hydraulic bath chair, which it really wants.

To make a donation, go to justgiving.com/Fiona-Mann.