Former Paralympic swimmer Achmat 'Sharkboy' Hassiem in a coma in hospital

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Former Paralympic bronze medallist Achmat Hassiem has slipped into a coma after undergoing a surgery.  (Photo by Kay Nietfeld/picture alliance via Getty Images)
Former Paralympic bronze medallist Achmat Hassiem has slipped into a coma after undergoing a surgery. (Photo by Kay Nietfeld/picture alliance via Getty Images)
  • Achmat Hassiem, who won a bronze medal at the 2012 Paralympics in London, is in a coma in hospital.
  • According to the principal of his former school, "Sharkboy", as Hassiem is popularly known, slipped into a coma after undergoing surgery.
  • The former Paralympian retired in 2016.

Former Paralympian swimmer Achmat Hassiem is in a coma in a Western Cape hospital after undergoing surgery, his former high school has said in a post on Facebook.

Hassiem's family called for prayers, said Bergvliet High School (BHS) principal Stephen Price.

READ | 'He fought off a shark, he'll get through this' - family hopeful Paralympian can defy the odds again

"As a school, we are proud of our Paralympic and Eco Warrior hero, winner of a bronze medal at the Rio (sic) Olympics, and we therefore call on the entire Bergvliet High community to lift him and his family up in your prayers. He needs our prayers to overcome perhaps his biggest challenge. We believe that the power of prayer will lift him out of the coma so that he can begin his road to recovery," Price wrote on the BHS Past Pupils page.

Hassiem was nicknamed "Sharkboy" after losing his lower right leg in a shark attack in 2006 while trying to save his younger brother, Tariq.

After his amputation, he never gave up, started swimming competitively and qualified for the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games.

READ | ‘Shark boy’ Hassiem hangs up his goggles

He participated at three Paralympic Games and won a bronze medal in the 100m butterfly at the 2012 London Games.

Hassiem retired from competitive swimming after competing at the Rio Paralympics in 2016.

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