However, with his own determined personality, coupled with the support of his family, and health and leisure experts, Malcolm is now swimming up to 80 lengths again at least five times every week.
UK-born Malcolm has lived in Louth for four years, after retiring to the town from America where he was a successful businessman alongside his wife Kristi.
During his time in the States Malcolm was part of the Angel Flight charity, which is a volunteering organisation that sees pilots give up their time to transport people in crisis to hospitals or for emergency help.
Malcolm said: “One of the most emotional times I had was flying a man who’d had a heart transplant for his annual check-up. When we touched down, waiting to meet him was a woman – it was the widow of the man whose heart saved his life.”
After settling in Louth, Malcolm – having retired from flying – became a keen swimmer and discovered the town’s Meridian Leisure Centre. He got up to 120-lengths a day before a sudden black-out led to a fall – with severe consequences. He was relaxing on the top seating area of a sauna and the next thing he knew he had come around on the floor, with people helping him.
Malcolm explained: “I’d had a sudden blackout, which led to the fall. I landed on my head and, although I did not know a lot about it at the time as I was unconscious, I had a break in my neck. That was in August last year and I spent 12 weeks in a frame, with the threat that I may never be able to swim again.
“In fact, had it not been for the fast-action of others, I may never have walked again.”
However, Malcolm is now back in the pool once again – and he is now encouraging other local people to join him at Meridian.
He added: “Louth is extremely lucky to have a centre like this. When I lived in America, I visited a very similar facility, but it was three-times the price.
“As we all get older, it is really important that we stay fit and healthy.”
Malcolm is also an active member of Louth Tennis Club’s Boules team, which competes in a new league. With around 20 members at the moment, the club plays at sites alongside the Louth Navigation at Ticklepenny Lock, behind the Wheatsheaf Pub and at the Tennis Centre.
However, members are looking for another venue that is more suitable for competitions. New members are also welcome.
For more details email Malcolm on [email protected]