Lynette con­quers swim for SIDS

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Bentley - Michele Nu­gent

NEED A TRADIE? WITH con­stant thoughts of her late nephew Vae­len He­witt, of Bent­ley, spurring her on, a determined Lynette He­witt swam 40km to and from Rot­tnest Is­land in 14 hours on March 7, also rais­ing more than $61,000 for SIDS and Kids.

“It was very hard,” Mrs He­witt said.

“There was sea sick­ness and stingers but I just kept think­ing about why I was do­ing it.

“And I felt the pos­i­tive en­ergy ev­ery­one was send­ing me. I didn’t doubt for one minute that I wouldn’t be able to do it.”

The triath­lete and long-dis­tance swim­mer de­cided to take on the chal­lenge eight months ago in the af­ter­math of the un­ex­plained death of her god­son and nephew Vae­len last April when he was two years and eight months old.

He died as a re­sult of Sud­den Un­ex­plained Death in Child­hood (SUDC), which ac­cord­ing to SIDS and Kids is a rare con­di­tion that oc­curs mainly in tod­dlers aged one to five years.

The son of her hus­band Tony’s brother Glen and wife Britt He­witt, of Bent­ley, Vae­len was an en­er­getic sib­ling to sis­ter Pal­las, with a love of the wa­ter and learn­ing to swim.

Mrs He­witt’s train­ing for the marathon in­volved swim­ming 40km across six days a week, swim­ming twice three days a week and be­tween 7-10km on a Satur­day, fol­lowed by a rest day each Sun­day.

She got into the wa­ter at Port Beach in the dark at 5am and got to Rotto where she walked up onto the sand be­fore sit­ting for just two min­utes wrapped in a blan­ket, drink­ing fluid and eat­ing a straw­berry jam sand­wich she had made the night be­fore

As she ar­rived back at Port Beach at 7.10pm Mrs He­witt said she “felt so ex­cited”.

“The sun was set­ting on the hori­zon and I won­dered if I’d be able to stand but I bounced on to my feet. It was amaz­ing.”

■ Dona­tions can be ac­cepted un­til March 31 at http://www. ev­ery­day­hero.com.au/event/ red­nose­day2015/top_ten

Pic­tures: Tony He­witt

Stingers, sea­sick­ness, the cold and ship­ping move­ments couldn’t stop Lynette com­plet­ing the swim. Inset: Crowds gather to wel­come Lynette back to Port Beach.

Thoughts of her late nephew spurred Lynette on.

Lynette’s solo dou­ble cross­ing took 14 hours to fin­ish.

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