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  1. ITV Report

Atlantic swimmer partially paralysed after 'excruciating' sting

Ben Hooper training in Cheltenham. Photo: Ben Hooper

A ex-serviceman from Cheltenham who was attempting to swim across the Atlantic Ocean has been left partially paralysed, after being stung by a Portuguese man o'war.

Ben Hooper, 38, was one month into his world record swim when he was stung by the deadly sea creature.

He was taken to a support boat, where he is currently being treated, after struggling to maintain consciousness and suffering partial paralysis.

In a post online he revealed his worst nightmare had become a reality:

OUCH. My worst nightmare has become a reality.

Portuguese man of war attacked. Rescued by Sen and treated by Pam. Excruciating and debilitating pain all down my right side from ear to toe.

Rolling eyes. Partial paralysis. Dribbling slurred speech. Struggling to maintain consciousness.

BP plummeted to 80/40 before stabilising. Hourly observations and no swimming for at least 48 hours.

– Ben Hooper
Ben is less than a quarter of the way through his four month swim.

Hooper set off on his 2000 mile journey from Dakar in November, after weeks of delays.

In recent days, he has seen sharks and come across the scene of an old maritime disaster.