A DETERMINED boy who hasn’t let his condition stop him from starring in the swimming pool has inspired his sister to help others in need.

Sam Downie, 12, lives with caudal regression syndrome and is a regular visitor to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh.

But that hasn’t stopped the Musselburgh youngster from achieving fantastic feats in the swimming pool.

He is now a Scottish National Junior Para-Swimmer and, with guidance from his coaches, is following his dream of one day becoming a Paralympian.

Now his sister Rebecca, 14, is raising money for Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity as a tribute to her brother’s efforts.

On her fundraising page, George Watson’s College pupil Rebecca said: “I wanted to offer my support to this charity by raising funds as part of my Duke of Edinburgh’s [Award] so other children can benefit from this level of care and, like Sam, have the opportunity to follow their dreams.

“I am doing this by participating in and leading a small team in the Save Point 2018 24-hour gaming challenge (with a twist to include an LDS swimming gala).”

Despite setting an initial target of £750, Rebecca has raised more than £1,200, with more to be added before the challenge.

Rebecca and Sam’s mum Gillian told the Courier: “This will be an international affair as we have friends in Philadelphia helping us game through the night. These are friends we made when they visited Edinburgh and we met up as their son has the same condition as Sam.”

On Sam’s condition, Rebecca said: “Sam has a rare congenial condition in which there is abnormal foetal development of the lower spine, with associated anomalies.

“In Sam’s case he is missing his sacrum – the lowest portion of the spine that forms the joint with the hips – and has associated conditions of the lower limbs as a result.

“He has endured numerous operations at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children and continues to visit regularly for review or clinics.

“As a result, he is limited to non-contact activities due to the risk of permanent paralysis from major trauma – this has been relaxed recently as he grows and becomes stronger.

“Due to Sam’s condition it was unclear whether he could ever walk at the beginning and it gives us enormous pride to see him doing so well.

“[His swimming has] given him so much more confidence. He was very aware that his legs didn’t look like everyone else’s when he started, but now he sits with the other kids and he’s just one of the other boys.”

Sam races for three clubs in East Lothian, including Musselburgh Swimming Club, and is currently in two Para squads, meaning he trains up to seven times a week.

“We’ve got a permanent washing machine on the go and he’s always wrinkly from the pool,” Rebecca joked.

His talent and work rate has not gone unnoticed, as he will pick up three awards in the next few weeks.

He is continuing on the British Paralympic pathway, having recently been re-selected to the Scottish National Disability Squad programme for the 2018/19 season.

He won two bronze medals at the British National Para-Swimming Championships this season.

To donate to Rebecca’s fundraising, visit sp18.everydayhero.com/uk/rebecca-s-gaming-team