Shropshire

River Severn swimmer hospitalised after 'swallowing sewage'

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Media captionMelissa Compton began her attempt earlier this month

A nurse in a 220-mile challenge to swim the length of the River Severn is in hospital after "swallowing sewage".

Melissa Compton, who had suffered hypothermia and fatigue during the swim, said the sickness bug was a blip and she was determined to finish.

The 39-year-old was taken ill in Gloucester on Sunday and is in the city's hospital.

She was just 20 miles short of her finish at Severn Beach in the Bristol Channel.

"I've been sick and dehydrated and now I'm in hospital," she said.

"They've carried out lots of tests. I think I may have taken down raw sewage from the river.

"It's a blip, but I'm so close to finishing and want to complete it."

Image copyright Melissa Compton
Image caption Ms Compton has been admitted to hospital after a sickness bug

Ms Compton, an intensive care nurse at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, is raising money for Versus Arthritis after the charity funded stem cell treatment on her damaged knee.

She began her challenge at the Severn's source in Wales earlier this month but had to halt her attempt for a time because of heavy rain and flooding.

Messages of support have poured in since a Facebook post showed her in a hospital bed.

Jackie Eccleston wrote: "Hope you're up and bopping soon as you need to be, it's a pause that's all. Recover well."

Emma Hegenbarth added: "Even Warrior Goddesses need hydration. Check they're not secretly draining all your superhero powers, just pumping you full of radioactive super swimmer juice."

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