LITTLE Isabelle Everest made a splash when she pushed herself to the limit to swim 15 lengths of a hydrotherapy pool to raise money for new toys.
The fearless six-year-old from Aston Close, St Leonards, suffers from cerebal palsy but was determined not to let her disability get in the way.
She came up with the idea herself after realising the special pool at the Conquest Hospital needed more buoyancy jackets and toys for the children who use it.
So she set about asking friends, family and anyone who visited her house to sponsor her swim.
It was a huge challenge for a youngster who has only ever swum 11 lengths of the 24ft long pool before.
Cheered on by her family and hospital staff, Isabelle hit the water on Wednesday and had the task wrapped up in just 13 minutes.
“We were worried at 11 lengths,” said proud mum Paula, “She had never been that far before and was getting tired.
“But she is a very determined little girl and nothing was going to stop her getting to the end. She was absolutely exhausted after she had finished.”
Isabelle was born with diplegic cerebral palsy which causes her mobility problems.
She attends Netherfield Primary School with her older sister Amelia, who is eight.
And she has set her sights on becoming a Paralympian after watching this year’s London Games.
Twice a week she attends the Westerleigh Judo Kwai club at Claverham Community College.
She competes by sitting on her knees and grabbing hold of her opponents turning it into something of an art.
“She wants to be a judo Paralympian now,” added Paula. “And she is pretty good at it. She is quite strong for her age and uses all of her upper body strength.
“The problem is it is currently for non-sighted competitors only. But were hoping that might change by the time she grows up.
“Her next challenge is raising money for her friend Josh who is 10 and also has cerebral palsy.
“He needs some new computer software to help him with his speech and language.
“They are very good friends and she is always thinking of others.
“The school is very good to her too. They treat her like everybody else and she has made lots of friends. We are very proud of her.”