Sister of young Peterborough dad who passed away to fundraise in his memory with swim challenge

The sister of a young dad who passed away is to swim the width of the English Channel in her local pool to fundraise in his memory.

Friday, 18th January 2019, 10:36 am
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 5:47 pm
Anthony (right) with daughter Isla

Youth worker Anthony Todd died in May last year aged just 34 from a sudden heart attack, leaving behind his three-year-old daughter Isla.

Anthony grew up in Westwood but was living in Yaxley at the time of his unexpected death.

Aged 20 he was one of 12 members of the Unity Youth Crew, a group of young men brought together to promote racial harmony in Peterborough.

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Sami Merrill

The project drew international recognition and was even showcased at a European Union ministers conference.

Anthony’s sister Sami Merrill from Huntingdon is now preparing to take part in Swim22, which sees participants swimming 22 miles – the width of the English Channel – in 12 weeks in their local pool.

Sami will be taking part in the challenge at One Leisure Huntingdon with her friend Emma Wright to raise funds for Diabetes UK as Anthony was affected by the condition during his life.

She said: “Anthony had an infection in his foot and became seriously ill which landed him in hospital for over a week before his passing. This, however, did not, directly, cause his death - he suffered a sudden heart attack. Despite the efforts of the NHS they were unable to revive him.

“Anthony had diabetes which meant any infection he got he found hard to fight. Although he had diabetes most of his life he was never able to control it the way he wanted to. This could of been the lack of education given about diabetes at the time he was diagnosed or the lack of support he got from doctors.

“So this year I am making it my mission to raise money for Diabetes UK to help to give those the chances my brother sadly did not have, and the education that is needed.”

Sami added: “I miss my brother more each day. It still doesn’t feel real that he has gone.

“I miss his random visits with his daughter Isla, the random FaceTimes he did with my kids and just the sound of his voice.”

To donate to Sami’s fundraising page, visit: