LOCAL Hero Lyndon Longhorne, who became a record-breaking swimmer despite having both legs and an arm amputated as a toddler, has endured another “terrifying” meningitis ordeal.

Lyndon’s incredible courage in overcoming his disabilities was celebrated last month when he was crowned the overall champion of the last 20 years at The Northern Echo’s annual Local Heroes Awards.

But over Christmas, Lyndon fell ill and doctors at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, in Newcastle, told him the dreaded news that meningitis had struck again.

“It started with a cold, then flu, followed by an ear chest infection, and terrible headache and I knew when I got to hospital what was coming. After all that’s happened, I just thought ‘Oh no’.

“It was terrifying to think it was back – I couldn’t believe it,” said Lyndon, now 25, from Crook.

Thankfully, the infection was confirmed as viral meningitis and not the more dangerous bacterial form of the infection which struck with devastating effect when he was just nine months.

Lyndon is recovering now but he has issued an appeal, urging people to be vaccinated against meningitis and to carry a card highlighting the symptoms.

Four years ago, Lyndon visited Downing Street as part of a campaign for government to make available a vaccine for Meningitis B to children of all ages.

Months later, he took part in the British International Paralympic Swimming Championships in Glasgow where he twice broke the British record for the 50 metres breaststroke.