South Shields aunt and niece to take the plunge in Great Swim event

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A keen swimmer is set to take on an open water challenge in memory of her father.

Fiona Aucherterlonie, from South Shields, was heartbroken when her dad Derek died in February, aged 74.

He had been complaining of feeling unwell and was diagnosed with a gout flare up. He was rushed into hospital days later and diagnosed with Sepsis which went on to claim his life.

This weekend Fiona will be joined by her niece Jess, 15, as they take part in the Great Swim in Windermere.

Fiona, from South Shields, will be tackling the mile distance while Jess the half-mile swim event in aid of UK Sepsis Trust - a charity that raises awareness and funds to tackle sepsis.

Fiona, 35, said: “My Dad was my best friend and my knight in shining armour. He took ill suddenly with sepsis and although I had heard of it, I had no idea how prevalent it was and how quickly it can strike.

I didn’t realise how deadly Sepsis could be until this happened.

Fiona Aucherterlonie

“I also didn’t realise how deadly it could be until this happened. We as a family have been left lost without him and we really want to make others aware of the signs.

“I have taken part in the Great North Swim for the last few years and so this time it felt completely right to tackle the challenge in honour of my Dad.

“Jess will be joining me and taking the plunge in her first ever open water swim so it will be a lovely tribute to him.

“I know he was very proud of me for swimming so I know he would be so happy to see his eldest granddaughter taking part too,”

For details on the swim, visit: