02 Feb Meet The Heart Transplant Patient Walking The Coast Of Essex
A heart transplant patient is walking the coast of Essex as part of a 5,000-mile trek around Britain to help raise £100,000 for the British Heart Foundation’s (BHF) life saving research.Kieran Sandwell, 45, from Berkhamsted in neighbouring Hertfordshire is taking on the incredible challenge, called “Trail of Two Hearts”, to mark the end of his long battle with heart disease after having a heart transplant eight years ago.
After setting off on Wednesday 1st February from the British Heart Foundation office in London, Kieran’s incredible journey will now see him walking the coast of Essex.
He is now in Essex and along the way will be visiting:
Kieran is calling on the public to support him on his journey by helping him raise £100,000 for the BHF’s life saving research, and bringing new hope to the seven million people like him living with heart and circulatory disease in the UK.
In Essex alone, around 200,000 people are living with heart and circulatory disease. You can sponsor Kieran by visiting www.atrailoftwohearts.com
Speaking ahead of his challenge, Kieran said: “The inspiration for my challenge came to me around 25 years ago, but then I would never have been able to complete such an endurance challenge.
“It’s only thanks to my donor, the BHF, the Brompton and Papworth Hospital and NHS Blood & Transplant that I am able to make my dream a reality.
“My second heart has enabled me to do so much and I’m urging the public to help me support the BHF’s ground-breaking research by making a donation.”
Kieran’s battle with heart disease began when he was just three years old, when he had to have open heart surgery to correct a condition called transposition of the great arteries (TGA) where the main arteries in the heart are ‘plumbed’ back to front.
Then when Kieran was 13 he suffered a heart attack and during his early twenties he also suffered two mini strokes and began having abnormal heart rhythms. By the time he reached 35, he was in heart failure and he was put on the transplant list for a new heart.
In July 2009, Kieran received his new heart and donated his old heart for BHF-funded research into congenital heart disease which has contributed to important findings and helped others living with conditions like his. Now the money he raises on this incredible journey around Britain will help fund even more life saving research.
Sophie Tibbitts, BHF Fundraising Manager for Essex, said: “We never cease to be amazed by the incredible way our fundraisers raise money for our research, but Kieran’s coastline challenge is one of the biggest we’ve ever seen.
“We are so incredibly grateful for his determination and dedication to supporting our work and we’ll be supporting him every step of the way!
“Every three minutes someone in the UK loses their life to heart and circulatory disease, which devastates the lives of those they leave behind. We urgently need more people to join our fight for every heartbeat and help fund our life saving research, so if Kieran has inspired you please do help power his steps and donate!”
To support Kieran on his journey and find out how you can get involved to help save even more lives visit www.atrailoftwohearts.com