Diana Nyad has caught the attention of the world recently by attempting to swim from Cuba to Florida. The trip is estimated to be about 103 miles, which is 13 miles longer than the direct path from Cuba to Florida. The extra distance takes into account any various to the swimming path to avoid any known areas where sharks are present. Diana Nyad is 61 years old, and has been training for the event for many months now. Back in the 70's she had tried to perform the swim, but without success. Crossing the Atlantic Ocean between Cuba and the United States might not seem like a difficult task, but that has been proven wrong for many years. The water tends to be very rough in this area of the world, and since the water is warm there are plenty of sharks as well. Thousands of Cubans have tried to make the trip to Florida in homemade rafts, but very few have been successful in their attempts. Every year, hundreds of Cubans are rescued by the United States Coast Guard as they attempt to cross the border via rafts.
Diana Nyad's attempt unfortunately did not end as she had hoped for. Within hours of her expedition, she was experiencing pain in her right shoulder. This was not what eventually ended her quest though; it was her asthma that caught up with her. It got so bad, that she was finding herself taking breaks every 30 to 40 strokes. She would have to roll over onto her back to breathe. During these breaks, her doctor, Michael Broder, would swim up to her and monitor her vital signs. Broder was using inhalers, oxygen, and an oximeter for her care. An oximeter, also known as a pulse oximeter, is a medical device used to measure the blood oxygen saturation and pulse rate of an individual.
Even though the expedition did not end well, it was seem as a great attempt. Someone who is over 60 years old that can still swim for almost 30 hours straight, is a victory on its own.