HAVING asthma was never going to stop brave 10-year-old Jessica Jackson from completing a swimathon for charity.

Jessica, of Blackburn Road, Egerton, swam 20 lengths at Darwen Leisure Centre to raise £236 for Families and Babies.

She achieved the feat despite having a severe asthma attack two weeks ago and having to take time off school because of her condition.

It was an emotional moment for young Jessica, a year six pupil at Egerton Primary School, who was taught how to swim at the leisure centre by her grandfather, Keith Jackson.

Families and Babies, which was set up 10 years ago by Jessica’s mother, Elaine Edwards, is a national charity which supports antenatal and breastfeeding mothers during pregnancy and after childbirth.

Mrs Edwards and Mr Jackson were among a group of more than 10 people who watched Jessica’s swimathon.

Mother-of-two Mrs Edwards, aged 47, said: “I’m absolutely amazed at Jessica’s achievement.

“She was determined to get better so that she could complete her swimathon and we are all really proud and grateful to Jessica — she is an inspiration.

“She’s always been interested in what I do and when she found out she was only too happy to help. I’m really proud of her.

“It was emotional having Jessica’s grandad there to support her — he goes to the leisure centre with her every week and he’s an old softie, so there was a tear in his eye.”

Such has been Jessica’s interest in supporting Families and Babies, she gave a presentation to her classmates in school explaining the work they do.

Jessica, who has had asthma since birth, had originally hoped to raise £150.

Mrs Edwards added: “I’m delighted with amount Jessica has raised. As a charity, we need every penny we can get to support women everywhere, and this will help towards that.”

Families and Babies has a shop in Tonge Moor Road, Bolton, and branches in Leyland, Blackpool, Wakefield, Bury St Edmunds, and Essex.