The last thing Paul Robinson remembers of his walk in the Lake District with wife, Alex and their friends before a life changing injury is separating from the group to find a foot-path for him and his dog.

The next thing he knew, he was waking up in hospital after coming out of an 11-day coma.

Paul had fallen whilst walking on Striding Edge on August 31, 2017 and is sure he would have died had it not been for the fast action of Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team.

“I broke my neck in three places. I split my head open and my lip was hanging off,” said Paul.

“I [also] broke my back.”

According to Paul’s wife, Alex, he suffered a tension pneumothorax whilst on the mountainside - a severe condition that occurs when air gets trapped inside one of the lungs, causing a compression of the heart and other lung - and went into cardiac arrest.

His road back to recovery has been long - having had to spend time at Jubilee House rehabilitation centre in Penrith to get back to fitness.

Here, Paul fell in love with swimming, finding it his “saviour” both physically and mentally.

Paul, who is also an ex-firefighter and enthusiastic cyclist, said: “I was at [the rehab centre] for about a week, and the best thing for me was the swimming.

“The beauty of getting into that water, sinking down up to my shoulders and feeling like I was normal again.

“[At first] I struggled to do one length, and the pool was about 10 meters long. Now, I’m up to 111 lengths and most nights I’m doing about a mile.

More recently, he has decided to swim the equivalent length of the English Channel to raise funds for Mountain Rescue Team that contributed to saving his life over four years ago.

The challenge, which is being done between November 1 and 30, will see Paul swim the the 21 miles needed from Nuffield swimming pool in Stoke. 

On his decision to raise funds for Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team, Paul said: “Without them, I wouldn’t be here.”

Alex added: “Although it was a doctor that saved Paul’s life from a medical perspective, he [the doctor] only gave Paul another hour to live. He was only alive because [the Mountain Rescue team] got him off the mountain.

“They are volunteers and they all give up valuable family time.

“They never stopped contacting us and they were even in touch when Paul was in hospital.”

You can donate to Paul’s cause through his Just Giving page here