Long Standing Patient of Dr Jandu Teaches a 11 Year Old To Swim After Tracheotomy

Julie Finnegan Swimming Teacher

One of the most heart-warming Serco stories of the summer involved the dedication and professionalism of three colleagues at Fox Hollies Leisure Centre in Birmingham, combined with the courage of a young girl called Georgia Anthony.

Georgia has a tracheostomy, which has always proved a barrier to her enjoying time at Fox Hollies swimming pool, a place her mum Samantha uses regularly.

The risk of getting water into her lungs meant Georgia never felt comfortable in the pool.

Step forward three Fox Hollies heroes, first up, receptionist Anne Taylor. Anne often spoke to Samantha and heard from her how much Georgia wanted to be like her mum and enjoy the water.

Anne then spoke to Charlie Brookes, an aquatics activator at the centre, and after putting their heads together, they found a disability awareness course, which looked ideal for the right swimming teacher to attend.

Step forward to our next hero, swimming teacher Julie Finnegan. When Charlie suggested the course to Julie, she jumped at the chance, and after attending, came back armed with the expertise to help Georgia overcome her barriers to enjoying the water.

Over a period of just one week, and by attending five sessions with Julie, Georgia was able to make slow but steady progress, overcoming the understandable fears she had about getting into the water. Then, on Friday July 27th, on an amazing, emotional day for everyone concerned, Georgia swam unaided in the pool for the very first time.

Since that day, Georgia has been a regular visitor to the pool with her mum and family enjoying the popular Splash Sessions at Fox Hollies. She's been swimming around confidently and freely, and has even been spotted helping younger swimmers jump in and enjoy the water too.

Mum and Georgia visited the centre to present Julie with a big bunch of flowers and thank her again. On seeing each other and taking in the amazing, life changing journey they'd all been on, all three were soon in tears.

As Stephen Grassby, Partnership Manager for Birmingham, said:

"In leisure, every now and then, we get to be part of something truly special, like Georgia's hear-warming story. When I first heard about this, straight away, what came into my head was - 'this is why we do it; this is why we come to work."

"We're proud of Georgia; we're proud of Anne, Julie and Charlie, and we're just happy to work in the kind of industry where something as special as this can happen."

Source: The Times Newspaper

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