A grieving dad set out on an ice cold challenge as a tribute to his son after being inspired by football star Jermain Defoe’s training methods.
Steve Lynn lost his son Steve aged just 25 in January last year when he fell ill with flu.
The former Southmoor School student, who worked a bricklayer for his dad’s firm, SJL Brickwork, had started to feel unwell on Christmas Day and developed pneumonia, which damaged his heart, and then contracted Influenza B.
Read more: Sunderland dad takes on daunting challenge on anniversary of son’s tragic death
His family have embarked on a series of fundraisers for the British Heart Foundation in honour of Steve, with his father deciding to take on the Winter Challenge Wim Hof - which uses extreme tasks to learn breathing techniques, cold exposure and a mindset to train the nervous, immune and cardiovascular systems as people face freezing temperatures.
He found out about the course after he had started taking cold showers when he heard former Sunderland player Defoe say that cold exposure was good for aching muscles, first taking an online course before setting out for Poland for a week-long course, bare foot walking in snow, taking a dip in an frozen pool and hiking in just shorts and boots.
The adventure, which saw him join 74 others and gave him the chance to meet Wim Hof himself, has raised more than £2,000 for the fund.
I met some lovely people from all over the world and really enjoyed the experience.Steve Lynn
Related: Tributes to Sunderland ‘gentle giant’ who died aged just 25
Steve, 45, said: “Last year was a very difficult year after the loss of my son, running a business and looking after my family. I also started building my own house which kept my mind of things and kept me busy.
“Then I saw that there was a Wim Hof expedition in Poland, I laughed at first and and said ‘no chance’ but reading through the trip details it said it was a very spiritual experience. “That is the main reason why I booked it.
“I wanted to be closer to nature, doing things with like-minded people and I wanted a spiritual experience because of Steven, and my mother and father. I lost them all within two years of each other.
“Since Steven passed, myself and his mother Kelly have raised a few bob to that specific charity as it was Steven heart that failed first although he had a huge heart and would do anything for anyone.
“I would like to thank everyone who kindly donated to this very worthy cause and hopefully it will go towards helping some one in the future not to go through what me Kelly and everyone else who was close to Steven went through.
“After all, we all need a heart.
“The trip itself was more than I had hoped and imagined and I definitely felt better in a spiritual way.
“I met some lovely people from all over the world and really enjoyed the experience.”
To donate visit www.justgiving.com/Steven-Lynn6.