An inspiring woman will brave the cold to become the first paralysed woman to swim 21 miles solo across the English Channel.

Former British army combat paramedic Nerys Pearce from Ascot will plunge into the water for a charity close to her heart.

The 38-year-old was set to take on her challenge at midnight tonight but it has been postponed due to the bad weather.

Nerys was left unable to move from her chest down when a car reversed in front of her motorbike in October 2008.

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Five years ago she was bed-bound, 18 stone, and “wanting to end" her life but after turning her life around with the support from the military charity, Blesma, The Limbless Veterans, she hopes to swim the channel in under 16 hours in a one-piece swimsuit.

Nerys said: "The channel is a scary beast and I’ve never swum that distance before and there’s a lot that you can’t control. There’s the weather, big ships, jellyfish, and even my body temperature in the water, so the lack of control is always more difficult.

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“No one of my disability has completed the channel swim before, so while I’m hoping for a world first, there’s a real chance of not making it across. There are so many able-bodied swimmers that have trained hard and don’t make it. Add my level of disability into the mix and coronavirus stopping us swimming for a period of time, and it puts everything more to the danger edge. But I love the adrenaline roller coaster!”

Nerys’s self-funded swim is the last event in her Triple Endurance Challenge in aid of Blesma.

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The challenge has so far seen her continually push her wheelchair 105 miles around Ascot, followed by a 100-mile cycle around London’s Royal Parks weeks later.

Since getting phenomenal support from the charity to lead an independent life, Nerys has excelled herself in Sport winning ten medals in powerlifting, rowing track and field at the 2016 Invictus Games in Orlando, competing for Team Wales in the 2018 Commonwealth Games, conquering the toughest cycle race in the world “Race Across America” in 2019 and recently becoming a driver for Motorsport team, Team BRIT.

Nerys added: “I would not be doing these challenges if it hadn’t been for Blesma getting me on the right path, always being so supportive and behind me. Blesma really saved my life.

"I wanted to do something to try and give back to the charity that’s given me phenomenal support.”

Blesma, The Limbless Veterans was formed in the years following the First World War and became a national charity in 1932.

The charity aims to ensure that all serving or ex-service men and women who have lost sight, limbs or the use of limbs can lead independent and fulfilling lives and will not be failed, forgotten or left behind.