South Africa

Pugh hospitalised after shifted vertebra

2016-05-24 13:07
Lewis Pugh (

Cape Town - British pioneer swimmer Lewis Pugh has undergone emergency surgery after losing all feeling in his right leg.

The diagnosis was that a vertebra had shifted and a piece of it was removed.

Pugh, 46, spoke to from his bed at Constantiaberg in Cape Town.

“I wish I could say a polar bear was chasing me!” he said.

“Nothing dramatic. One morning I woke up and my leg was slightly lame. The next morning more so. The third day, there was no feeling. “

The full recovery time will be anywhere between 9-12 months.

Pugh has been accompanied at his bedside by his doctor’s Siberian Husky, also named Lewis.

Pugh is the first man to ever complete a long distance swim in every ocean in the world, and frequently swims in vulnerable ecosystems to bring attention to their condition.

South African Olympic star Roland Schoeman was one of several to wish Pugh a speedy recovery - and return to the water.


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