Paralympic champion to make festive visit to young hospital patients

Alice Tai medals

A Paralympic swimming champion will make a festive visit to young patients at Southampton Children's Hospital today (Friday).

Alice Tai, who won gold in the 4 x 100 metre medley relay and bronze in the 100 metre backstroke S10 in Rio in the summer, will meet staff and patients to talk about her experience and present her medals.

The 17-year-old, from Poole, was born with bilateral talipes, also known as club foot, and has been treated in Southampton since birth, having 13 corrective operations on her feet before the age of 12 under the care of consultant orthopaedic surgeons Mike Uglow and Ed Gent.

She is still under the care of clinicians in Southampton, more recently Dr Georgina Burke and Dr Neil Thomas, who specialise in neuromuscular conditions.

"I am really looking forward to coming in to meet many of the staff I have known for so many years but also lots of young patients who are in over the festive period," said Alice, who is currently studying a music performance course in Manchester while training for next year's World Championships in Mexico.

"I've spent so many years receiving treatment in Southampton, so it's nice for me to come back in my sporting capacity and show staff what a positive impact they have had on my life, as well as having a chance to chat to patients and promote the sport."

Emma Chisman, play specialist at Southampton Children's Hospital, said: "We are so pleased to have Alice joining us. It is fantastic chance to bring some cheer and excitement to our patients and also great for all of our staff to see a patient of ours who has gone on to achieve so much."

Alice will be visiting the wards from 10.30am.

Posted on Friday 23 December 2016