Brave heart operation girl is one of youngest in UK to swim 400 metres

Rosanna Ogden in the pool at the Georgian House Hotel, Blackrod

Rosanna Ogden with swim teacher Ben Hamlett and in the pool at the Georgian House Hotel, Blackrod

Rosanna Ogden in the pool at the Georgian House Hotel, Blackrod

First published in News The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , health reporter

A BRAVE little girl who had a life-saving operation just weeks after she was born has become one of the youngest children in the UK to swim 400 metres.

Dubbed a real-life “water-baby”, Rosanna Ogden amazed her parents when she was able to swim unaided at only two years old, after recovering from a rare, non-cancerous heart tumour.

Not only has Rosanna, now aged four, conquered the impressive 400 metre distance, she has also become the poster girl for the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and has raised more than £3,000 for the charity.

Now the youngster and her parents have set their sights on swimming 1,000 metres and are aiming to raise another £20,000 for the BHF.

It is a massive transformation for the toddler, who survived an eight-hour operation to remove the tumour after being diagnosed at six weeks old.

Mum, Sally, of Babylon Lane, Anderton, said: “Rosanna is a different girl when she’s in the water. Normally, she is very shy and quiet, but when she’s in the water, it’s like she is someone else.

“She just loves it, which is why we take her swimming every day.”

Doctors recommended swimming to help Rosanna recover, but Mrs Ogden said they never imagined she would take to it so naturally.

The youngster swims most days at the Georgian House Hotel, in Blackrod, and can do front crawl and butterfly, as well as dive into the water.

Mrs Ogden, aged 30, said: “It’s amazing what she has achieved. We just want to raise as much money as possible for the BHF for all of its research.

“Rosanna is still a heart patient and when you see all the little children in Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, you just want to help them in any way you can.”

Shirley McNally,BHF fundraising volunteer manager, said: “Through her bravery and the medical advances that the BHF has helped to fund, Rosanna’s proof we’re winning the fight against heart disease.

“It’s very inspiring to see Rosanna so active and fundraising to help others who’ve been affected by heart disease.”

Rosanna’s next sponsored swim will take place on August 16 at the David Lloyd swimming pool in Chorley.

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