His Heart Is Into It, Nejib Belhedi’s Comeback

His Heart Is Into It, Nejib Belhedi’s Comeback

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

While Nejib Belhedi is most renowned for his channel and marathon swims including his most recent 15 km marathon swim in 7 hours 17 minutes, he is not known for his comeback from open heart surgery in 2005.

In a military hospital in Tunis, Belhedi’s doctors took a vein in his right leg to replace his blocked artery in his heart. After this surgery, Belhedi was extremely motivated to regain his health and ended up doing a 1400 km swim along the Tunisian coast and a variety of swims in cold, warm, rough and tranquil waters around the world.

“He swims like he has a second lease on life,” says Steven Munatones who has been covering his open water exploits for years. “Professor Dhaker Lahidheb from the Tunis military hospital remains a key member of his medical support team.“

During the operation, the doctors removed my heart from my chest and then repaired my heart by making 5 bypasses,” recalls Belhedi. “With the change of the government’s regimen and my determination that I wanted to recover, I was able to swim again and wake up healthy and continue my journey in the open water.”

In Gabes City, several thousands of people gathered at the finish to await Belhedi’s completion of his World Iron Swim and arrival on the Monastir shore on the eastern coast of Tunisia.

For Belhedi has a huge heart and will to swim.

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association