'My life was in danger': Norwich's builder's journey from diabetes diagnosis to world record holder

  • ITV News Anglia's Raveena Ghattaura reports on Adam Lopez' world record attempt

A construction worker who was diagnosed with life-threatening type 2 diabetes is celebrating becoming the fastest man on the planet to run one mile in a swimming pool.

Adam Lopez, 37, completed the challenge at Nuffield Health Norwich Fitness & Wellbeing Gym in Norwich on Tuesday, shaving more than four minutes off the previous record that was set in Baghdad, Iraq.

It took Mr Lopez 35 minutes and 24 seconds to run the 64 lengths - a time that will now need to be ratified by Guinness World Records.

Mr Lopez vowed to turn his life around after being told by doctors during a work medical that his blood sugar levels were dangerously high.

"My mmol reading was 148 [the international standard unit for measuring the concentration of glucose in the blood] and I was told it was life-threatening," he told ITV News Anglia.

People cheering on Adam as he walks a mile in a swimming pool for a world record attempt Credit: ITV News Anglia

"It's now come down to 16 mmol. It just makes you look at life so differently when somebody tells you that your life is in danger."

Mr Lopez decided to apply to break the record after being approached by a fellow swimmer who was impressed at how quickly he was able to walk lengths of the pool.

Tuesday's attempt was timed by two people, with a surveyor also measuring the pool to ensure the record was valid.

Mr Lopez' primary motivation was to raise money to buy specialist equipment for a 5-year-old girl who was diagnosed with a severe muscular disorder when she was just nine months old.

The family of Grace Howes were told that it was unlikely she would make it past her second birthday after she was given a diagnosis of spinal muscular atrophy - a genetic condition that makes the muscles weaker and causes problems with movement.

Grace Howes, who has spinal muscular atrophy, with her mother Rebecca and father Luke at Tuesday's record attempt. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Mum Rebecca Howes said: "We're really grateful for what Adam's done today.

"The money Adam's raising now will go towards things to ensure that Grace can get into the pool safely, so things like a hoist, accessibility to get into the pool and a changing table - all of those things cost a lot of money."

She added: "It's really amazing, he's worked so hard for it. He's been in every single day, training."

"Because she doesn't walk, all her muscles are tight. Because she's not weight-bearing or anything, so (the pool) is just going to help with her mobility throughout her life," dad Luke Howes explained.

"She's got hip dysplasia already, she's got scoliosis of the spine, so she's going to need surgery throughout her life.

"Being in a pool just takes that weight off her."

He continued: "Grace has been really excited about it all morning. We got her out of school early to come down here to watch him and cheer him on."

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