A New World Record and A Father’s Love

Reproduced by kind premission of Em Jervuk

Christopher Healy - (c) Em Jervuk

As 2011 draws to a close and we take a moment to breathe from another seemingly hard year I wanted to share a wonderful inspirational story with you all.

Someone once told me that a parent will do anything for their child, this story is a perfect example of how great a fathers love really is.

Meet Christy Healy, a native of Kilmaley, Co. Clare.  In March 2010 Christy and his wife Trish were given the news that their only child, Stephen (18), had Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (a cancer of the lymphoid tissue).  Any parent out there can only imagine the emotional blow and extreme stress this type of news brings, but like any great parents Christy and Trish pulled up their sleeves and faced it head on.  Combined with the positive energy and determination of Stephen they took on this illness…

One of Stephens regular visitors during his hospital stays was Christys cousin, Jonathan Mangan.  An active volunteer with the Share a Dream Foundation, who make dreams come true for sick children all over Ireland.

Due to the support from this charity and Christy’s natural energy, good nature and determination,  it wasn’t long before Christy decided to ‘give back’… but how

Christy, who is a vastly experienced diving instructor and has his own diving school, (also a volunteer search diver with the Civil Defence) decided to attempt a World Record 10 km dive in order to raise money for the foundation.  This would become a new record with no-one having attempted such a dive before.

“I didn’t have anyone behind me at this time but I was willing to have a  go at this dive,  I was confident that a couple of friends that I knew would give me a hand, and to my great pleasure they did

That March Christy began training for the World Record with amazing focus, with daily physical training (both on land and in the water), hospital visits and running his own business Christy developed a strong discipline towards his goal.  Combined with the help and support of trusted friends and professionals he mapped out his targets and worked towards them.

On October 2nd 2011, Christy was ready to attempt the dive.  The divers would set out from Doolin pier amidst a great flurry of activity from the Ennis sub Aqua team, the Civil Defense, supporters, family and friends.  Once in the water Christy had the first of several cramps in his leg, combined with dropping core body temperature, pain in the kidneys and vomiting Christy had to pull out of the dive before hitting the 10 km. Amazingly completing 9.4 kms, despite this fact Christy was disappointed not to achieve his goal.

“At this part of the dive I was near 9 or 10k, but the pain in my side and the cramps were getting worse.  

The divers came down and I changed the bottle very slowly.  John showed me the slate, 8k he had written, I gave the thumbs up and I called it a day there and then.  There was no way that I could do another 2k,  maybe 1 but not 2.   I was gutted, for myself and all the crew, and all the training felt like it was for nothing.  Even 9.9 k was not good enough I was sick with myself.”

Reaching the surface - (c) Christopher Healy

Undeterred from this dive Christy began to plan his next dive attempt.  And on the 23rd of October 2011, a cold wet day, the second attempt of this world record took place at Lough Derg, Co. Clare.

“We changed the dive to Killaloe, Lough Derg, because we couldn’t guarantee the weather in the sea.  There were at least 25 people involved in the whole operation and I needed to make sure that we got the job done this time as it was too difficult to get all the helpers there on another day due to other commitments.”

Following a set course on the lake Christy dipped under the water and the dive started.  10 kms is a long journey under water without much to see or hear –

“I would have liked it very much if I could have seen the bottom of the lake for the whole dive because it gives you something to look at rather than looking at the same length of rope for 6 hours, that isn’t very exciting. I only saw the bottom twice, once at the 5k mark and coming in to the finish.”

But with every beginning there is an end, 30 minutes before the finish of Christys dive his son Stephen and wife Trish were among the support divers leading Christy towards the pier and the finish line.

6 hours and 21 minutes after Christy dipped under the water he reached the pier to cheering and applause from a crowd who braved the rain and his own team who worked so hard alongside him.  He achieved his goal and became the first person to set a new World Record for the fastest time to dive 10kms, a marathon under water.

Surfacing after 6 hrs and 21 mins and setting a new World Record - (c) Christopher Healy

Today Christy is planning a whole new Diving Attempt and will continue to raise money for his chosen charity, so watch this space.  And Stephen, after 6 months of chemotherapy and a kidney operation has been given the all clear…

To find out more about Christy and his diving school please visit his website.  All images are copyright material of Christy Healy unless otherwise stated, reproduced here by kind permission.  Extracts are from Christy’s book ‘The 10K Record’, a true account of his dive, due to be released in the new year.  Christy has raised over 15,000€ towards the Share a Dream Foundation.

Receiving the Guinness World Record Certificate - (c) Christopher Healy



  1. An amazing story Catherine and delighted to hear that Stephen has got the all clear too.

  2. very uplifting … well done to all concerned and am also delighted that Stephen has been given the all clear

    Happy Christmas 🙂

  3. What a great and inspiring story. Thank you kindly for sharing 🙂
    Best wishes to Stephen for 2012. And well done for sharing such a wonderful story Catherine.

    Happy New Year

  4. Great story. What a brave family. Delighted Stephen is ok. He must be so proud of his Dad

  5. well done christy… what an amazing feat and an inspirational story. you and your family deserve all the accolades you get.congratulations.


  1. […] 1 – A New World Record and a Father’s Love  […]

  2. […] You can try a scuba dive with  Atlantic Diving School based in Co. Clare, under the watchful eye of Chris Healy who recently broke a World Record […]

  3. […] once told me that a parent will do anything for their child, this story is a perfect example of how great a fathers love really […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: