Team Nelson take the plunge!

"When Christopher was younger, he was constantly in and out of A&E at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children with different sporting injuries, and in some cases he was bed ridden, but he was such an active child he found it difficult to stay in bed. "

Donna Nelson - Christopher's mum

The brave mum of Christopher Nelson, who sadly passed away in 2015, is to undertake her biggest challenge yet by getting back in the water for the first time since he tragically drowned. and raise money for Edinburgh Children's Hospital Charity, a cause close to their hearts.

Donna  who cannot swim and who has had an immense fear of water since his death – is set to swim a 20km relay with friends and family in St Mary’s Loch, where her son’s ashes are scattered.  


Donna, who is currently learning to swim by attending adult swimming lessons with instructor Jen Henderson at Lasswade Centre, said: “I’ve not been in a swimming pool since Christopher died. Even when I stand in the shower, I can’t put my face under the water. There hasn’t been a morning in the last four years where I’ve stood in the shower and not thought about what happened to my son. 

“It has taken me weeks to put my face under the water at my swimming lessons. I didn’t understand how quiet it was under there – it makes me think, ‘was it quiet for Christopher?’ I hope this challenge will help me find peace somehow.” 


Donna is fundraising for Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity (ECHC), which supports the Royal Hospital for Sick Children – a charity close to the family’s heart. 

The grieving mum and her family and friends – also known as ‘'Donna’s Prosecco Posse” or #teamnelson – have so far raised over £30,000 for ECHC by completing a series of fundraising challenges since 2015, including Tough Mudder and a 200-mile cycle.    

“Christopher was a mad sports person as a little boy, so we were on first name terms with the A&E staff at the ‘Sick Kids’ as he had so many sports-related injuries. "

Donna explains why they've chosen ECHC

“It was reassuring for us as parents to know he felt safe and happy, even though he was in pain, so we have always been so grateful for the work of Edinburgh Children's Hospital Charity. We’re glad that we’ve been able to give back to them now.” 

The money they are raising will have a huge impact on the lives of children, young people and their families and make a phenomenal difference during their time in hospital. 

Donna and Christopher’s family and friends will be swimming the 20km on Saturday 16th May in St Mary’s Loch, supported by Steven Nelson (no relation) Founder and Manager/Activities Coordinator of Beyond Boundaries East Lothian and volunteers, who have very kindly agreed to be the Water Safety Crew.

If you feel inspired to take on a new challenge, find out more about how you can join our team by visiting our event page

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