A Warwick man who underwent quadruple heart bypass surgery will take on a half marathon for the first time, in aid of the British Heart Foundation’s (BHF) life saving research.
Mike Page, aged 63, will lace up his trainers and take on the BHF’s Blenheim Place Half Marathon, three years after receiving heart surgery to bypass his blocked arteries and improve his quality of life.
He hopes to raise money for future BHF-funded research that could benefit families like his.
Mike said: “The surgery has saved my life. I wanted to give something back and show how effective surgery can be.”
Having been active for most of his life, playing cricket and walking regularly, Mike began to experience chest pains while exploring the hillside.
“The first time it happened I’d been walking for about two hours before I experienced any pain, the next time it was after an hour, then 20 minutes – eventually I couldn’t walk more than 20 yards without pain in my chest, ” added Mike.
Mike’s GP sent him straight to hospital; it was there they carried out an angiogram which showed all of his coronary arteries were blocked. It also showed that his small capillary arteries had grown larger and had effectively functioned as another artery, which likely saved his life.
He was then referred to a cardiologist at Walsgrave Hospital and was told he would have to undergo heart bypass surgery.
Mike said: “Although I never considered that anything like this could happen to me, I was fairly accepting of the situation. I was more worried for my wife and the rest of my family.
“The surgeons were amazing, the surgery was a success and I made a quick recovery.”
Following the operation, Mike was forced to make some drastic lifestyle changes – cutting saturated fats, salt and sugar out of his diet. He began to eat healthier food and exercise more.
Mike added: “I think the fact that I was relatively fit had a huge impact in my recovery.”
This year’s Blenheim Palace event will be the first time Mike has taken part in a Half Marathon or any type of running competition.
He added: “I’m taking part with my brother and cousin, so it’ll definitely be a family affair. I’ve been raising money for my challenge, with over £400 so far – mainly through doing odd jobs for family and friends. I hope that my completing the half marathon will show others how effective this type of heart surgery and lifestyle change can be.”
Mike will join around 5,000 runners expected to take part in this year’s Blenheim Palace Half Marathon, 10K or Family Fun Run.
The annual event, which last year raised £250,000 for the BHF’s life-saving research, will take place on Sunday 29th September at the Blenheim Palace Estate in Oxfordshire.
Leanne Postlethwaite, Event Organiser at the BHF, said: “We want to say a massive thank you to Mike for signing up to the BHF’s Blenheim Palace Event and taking the steps to help us beat heartbreak forever.
“We’re now calling for more people to sign up to this event. By challenging yourself to take on the Blenheim Palace Half Marathon, 10K or 2K Family Fun Run, you will be funding life saving research that will end the devastation caused by heart and circulatory disease once and for all.
“Every step you take will help bring us closer to the day when families aren’t torn apart by conditions like coronary heart disease, stroke and vascular dementia. With nearly 7.5 million people living with the daily burden of these conditions in the UK, the need for your support to fund more lifesaving breakthroughs has never been more urgent.”
Sign up and find out more at: www.bhf.org.uk/blenheim.