NPR logo Quadriplegic Frenchman Philippe Croizon Successfully Swims Across English Channel


Quadriplegic Frenchman Philippe Croizon Successfully Swims Across English Channel

This picture, taken on May 27, shows French amputee and swimmer Philippe Croizon, swimming in the sea off La Rochelle.   Pierre Andrieu/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Pierre Andrieu/AFP/Getty Images

This morning, NPR's Eleanor Beardsley reported on a quadriplegic man who swam across the English Channel. According to her, "the Frenchman says he did it to inspire all those who think life is nothing but suffering."

According to the Agence France Presse, Philippe Croizon's limbs were amputated after an electrical accident.

In 1994 the metalworker was hit by a 20,000 volt charge as he attempted to remove a television aerial from a house roof and an arc of current surged through him from a nearby powerline.

Doctors were forced to amputate his limbs. As he recovered in hospital he saw a television documentary about a Channel swimmer and an ambition was born.

The father of two said he wanted to complete the dare "for myself, my family and all my fellows in misfortune who have lost their taste for life."

After two years of training, he embarked on the 13.5-hour swim, from Folkestone to Wissant.

Steadying himself with the stumps of his arms, he was advancing at a constant speed in good weather, his support team said, adding that he was in good form and had been accompanied by dolphins for part of the crossing.

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