A GOLD medal winning swimmer who lost her sight at 31 was been honoured with a lifetime achievement award at a Rhyl club.

Old Colwyn athlete Rowena Breese, 58, was "shocked" by a surprise assembly of her fellow Rhyl Dolphins swimmers at Rhyl Leisure Centre where she was presented with a Lifetime Achievement and Membership Award by Club President Gerald Hay for her achievements since joining the club in 1998.

Since returning to swimming after undergoing a pancreas and kidney transplant in 1991, Rowena has won more than 20 gold - as well as number of silver and bronze medals - competing in Japan, Australia, Malaga, Argentina, South Africa and Sweden as part of the British Transplant Swimming Team. She was also appointed MBE in 2012 for her work promoting organ awareness, fundraising for Guide Dogs for the Blind and in swimming.

Rowena, who lost her sight in 1992 due to diabetes,said: "It was such a lovely, lovely surprise - I was so shocked, I had no idea.

"I wasn't really planning on going to the club that day, I only went in because my mother Iris Thomas whose 81 said she was going there and i wanted to keep her company while she was in the car.

"Medals don't really do it for me - I'm just grateful to be healthy enough to swim - and I try to keep everything low key and I'm no different from everyone else.

"But to be recognised by the club really means a lot. I feel so lucky to be here."

Rowena continues to compete, and will head to Newcastle in August for the World Transplant Games.