After Sepsis at Training Camp, Britain’s Suzanna Hext Withdraws from Worlds

British para-swimmer Suzanna Hext has withdrawn from the upcoming Para-Swimming World Championships that will be held from June 12-18 in Madeira, Portugal.

The 33-year old Hext has had a number of medical issues since finishing 4th in both the 100 and 200 freestyles (S5 Class) at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Most recently, that includes sepsis (blood infection) at a warm weather training camp in Lanzarote in the Canary Islands. Hext referred to it as a “warning.”

As she explained in a Twitter post this week, this is just the latest in a number of medical issues that she has had to contend with over the last year.

After returning from the Tokyo Paralympics, she had a hospital stay after an asthma attack that forced her to withdraw from other races. Then, in November, she underwent cochlear implant surgery on her right ear and blind sac closure surgery on her left ear. Both of those procedures are positive medical interventions, but still require ‘intensive’ care and learning to hear words and sounds.

Then in February, she was rushed to the hospital and diagnosed with Meniere’s disease, which can cause vertigo, tinnitus, hearing loss, and feelings of congestion.

Hext is keeping a positive attitude even after her latest setback, saying that more planned surgeries going forward are “exciting in terms of finally getting better.” She is scheduled to have surgery on August 19th for a cochlear implant on her left side, endolymphatic duct clipping to treat the Meniere’s and possibly another blind sac closure on her right hear to help prevent infections.

“I’ve kept battling and fighting back after each setback, but I need to listen to what my body is saying right now and it needs time for me to get properly better – and I mean properly better…I’ve honestly forgotten what it’s like to feel well,” she said in her post.

Hext says that the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games are still the ultimate goal.

Hext is a three-time European champion in Equestrial and at the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships she took silver in the 50 free and bronze in the 100 free in the S5 Classification.

Hext suffered severe injuries in a 2012 horse riding incident just days before the London Olympic Games began in 2012. As a result of that accident, she suffered paralysis in both legs.

“I was breaking in a young horse and it reared up, threw me off, landed on me and then rolled back on me, just to add insult to injury. I’m very lucky to still be here today,” she wrote in a 2014 blog post.



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Harambe MD
6 months ago

Sepsis is more of “blood infection” than “blood poisoning”. The infection (and the body’s reaction to it) is so bad that it causes shock

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Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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