Hi everybody Im new here, had my 1st heart attack about 5 years ago, was just a normal day, got up, made my self a cuppa, switched on my computer. I felt a little strange and to be honest it felt like heartburn, last thing I thought was it was a start of a heart attack, I mean those happen to other people, not yourself right, As the morning progressed I felt worse and the pain got worse plus I started to feel sick, I shouted for my wife and told her I think I was having a heart attack and she had better phone an ambulance. By the time the ambulance came the pain was unbearable, everything after that was a bit muddled - I can remember been on the back of the ambulance and racing through the Tyne Tunnel with the blue lights going, and then been rushed down a corridor in the Queen Elizabeth. After the operation I felt better practically straight away, although they were unable to fit any stents. Lying in a hospital bed late at night I knew life would never be the same and changes needed to be made.
I left hospital after 5 days was then I got thinking that I had 2 choices, I could either a. Sit around feel sorry for myself and blame everybody else or b. find myself a hobby that would keep me busy and let me get some exercise at the same time. Two days later a leaflet came through the door from the local community centre saying they were starting a beginners photography course. A sign I thought, so I immediately joined up and have never regretted it.
I got involved with the BHF when I seen an advert for "The walk to save lives", along with another old comrade of mine (we were both in the Army) Les has had bypass surgery and is partially sighted. We decided to have a walk around Durham riverside to take some photos and to raise some funds. The local newspaper became interested in the story and did an article, that is the photo from it below. After that I became hooked I wanted to do more to help the BHF. I volunteered to take some photos of the "Heartrunners" at the Great North Run, and have now signed up to become a spokes person for the BHF in my area. Im holding my first event early this year a coffee morning in the local community centre and hoping to get the Mayor of South Tyneside involved as the BHF is her chosen charity for the year. I will be taken photos again this yer at the GNR and Les and myself are planning to do another walk in Durham.
One person who I would like to mention is Nikki Bell Regional Fundraising Manager at the BHF for all the help and encouragement she had given me, Im sure I wouldn't have progressed as far without her help.