Blackburn woman's charity ride for husband and son who battled heart problems

Blackburn Citizen: Fiona with son Oliver, husband Phil and daughter Sophie Fiona with son Oliver, husband Phil and daughter Sophie

A WOMAN has spoken of her husband and son’s fight back to health after they were both struck by serious heart problems.

Fiona Marsh, 45, who is saddling up for the British Heart Foundation’s (BHF) Manchester to Blackpool night ride to give something back to the charity, said people needed to be aware that heart problems could strike anyone.

Her husband, Phil was struck by a heart attack at only 57 while the family were on holiday in Anglesey.

Fiona said: “Phil turned to me and said ‘I think I’m having a heart attack’.

“We were about a mile away from the nearest road so I ran to the coastguard to call for help. He was airlifted to hospital, where his suspicions were confirmed.

“He has since had a quadruple by-pass and will need to have a stent fitted in the near future.

“It came as such a shock as he has always lived a healthy lifestyle. We have a good diet and regularly exercise as a family. It just goes to show that heart disease can affect anyone.”

It was only months later that her 16-year-old son Oliver began experiencing a problem with his heart.

He had been out for a run and complained of chest pain. It took around 45 minutes for him to catch his breath and his pulse to slow.

Fiona, from Chorley, said: “Oliver was referred to the cardiology department and diagnosed with ventricular tachycardia, a fast abnormal heart rhythm. He spent a week in hospital for treatment where his heart rhythm was corrected.

“Thankfully he’s back to being a normal 16-year-old now and is celebrating getting seven As in his GCSEs. By taking part in the Manchester to Blackpool night ride, I feel like I’ll be giving something back.”

The 52-mile adventure will start from Barton Square at the Trafford Centre at 11pm on Saturday, September 29, and riders will cycle across Greater Manchester and Lancashire passing through Wigan, Bolton, Chorley, Preston and Lytham St Annes.

The BHF hopes to raise £175,000 from the event.

Nancy Prior, from the charity, said: “It is fantastic to have Fiona’s support. Her family have been through so much and I hope their story inspires others to sign up to the event.”

To sponsor Fiona, visit www.justgiving.com/Fiona-Marsh.

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