We brought you news yesterday of Diana Nyad, a 61-year-old woman who was trying to swim from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage. Nyad would have broken her own record for cage-free swims. Unfortunately, she only made it halfway before being hauled on to a support boat in the middle of the night while vomiting. Rough seas and a shoulder injury made it tough for Nyad. But mainly it was her asthma that cut the effort short.
As hour 28 approached, the pain was so great that she had to rest every three or four freestlye strokes, rolling onto her back to breathe.
Her doctor, Michael Broder, would swim to her on breaks to monitor vitals or administer medication.
"I'm hurting, I'm hurting," Nyad told him, clutching her shoulder and looking to the stars. Then, she'd turn back into the water, struggling through another stroke or two, pushing and pushing and pushing.
By hour 29, she was weighing the math between belabored strokes.
She asked: "Do I have to swim all night and all day and all night again?" The answer was yes.
Nyad switched to a breast stroke, a last hope to find a way to propel herself to land. A handful of strokes. More rest. A few minutes more. And, finally, she made the decision. It was over.
"Asthma took so much out of me," she told CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Sanjay Gupta. "I couldn't overcome it."
Nyad was safe this morning and eating scrambled eggs.
Diana Nyad back in U.S. after abandoning Cuba to Florida swim [CNN]
Woman Swimming To Key West From Cuba Forced To Stop Halfway [Jezebel]