An  American woman has defied all odds to set a new record in swimming of its own kind.

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Sarah Thomas, who is a cancer survivor, swam across the English Channel 4 times in a row, no mean feat.

It took her 54 hours to complete the gruelling feat with a multitude of people waiting for her at the shore to cheer her.

Speaking to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Thomas could not hide her joy being the first person ever to do what she had done.

"I just can't believe we did it. I'm really just pretty numb. There was a lot of people on the beach to meet me and wish me well and it was really nice of them, but I feel just mostly stunned, " she said.

To celebrate her extraordinary achievement, she ate chocolate and drank champagne.

The 37-year-old dedicated her record-breaking to those who had their battle with cancer.

In a Facebook post before she embarked on the swim, she confessed being scared.

“This is for those of us who have prayed for our lives, who have wondered with despair about what comes next, and have battled through pain and fear to overcome, " her Facebook post read in part as quoted by the Washington Post.