A Derry born medical consultant will this week complete a ‘channel swim’ to raise money for a Malawi based charity which is saving the lives of babies and new mothers.
Catriona Connolly, daughter of Kathleen and the late Sean Connolly originally from Talbot Park in the city, now works as a consultant anaesthesiologist in Dundee in Scotland. The swim will cover the width of the English channel but has been taking place over the past number of weeks in the relative safety of an Olympic-size 50-metre pool near her current workplace at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee.
Catriona founded the Scotland Malawi Anaesthesia Project (SMAP) which was set up to deliver post-graduate education to healthcare workers in hospitals in Malawi.
A past pupil of Thornhill College, the Thornhill medic says the charity swim has been a huge challenge.
“I was never a big swimmer but I’ve managed so far,” she laughs. “I’m delighted that we’ve been able to raise funds for the charity, that’s what it’s all about so it’s all been worth it.”
Meanwhile Catriona’s daughter Becky (16) is also “swimming the channel” to raise funds for the MOET school in Malawi, where she and four other students will be volunteering in June 2014.
MOET is a day school in Malawi’s Mangochi district providing a primary school education and practical skills-training for orphans and vulnerable children.
Catriona who was formerly an organist and cantor at St Joseph’s Church in Galliagh, says Derry people can support her efforts, and those of her daughter by visiting www.smap.co.uk or via https://www.justgiving.com/account/your-pages/Catriona-Connolly3