Wellesbourne man takes on London Marathon after major heart surgery - The Leamington Observer

Wellesbourne man takes on London Marathon after major heart surgery

AN UNSTOPPABLE man from Wellesbourne – who owes his life to heart surgery – is taking on a marathon challenge to help continue the lifesaving research that saved him.

Mike Page will run the London Marathon for the British Heart Foundation on April 23.

The 66-year-old semi-retired civil engineer and land surveyor lost his grandad, grandmother, aunt, uncle and mum to coronary heart disease, and his sister, Karen, to a complex heart condition – tetralogy of Fallot – when she was just three months old.

His brother Russell, 63, also has coronary heart disease, and has had a coronary stent fitted.




Mike, who also underwent major heart surgery in August 2016, says despite his tragic family history, he owes his life to BHF research and wants to give back to say thank you.

He said: “I’ve always been very active. I played a lot of sport including hockey, rugby and football, continuing with cricket and hill walking right up until my 60s.


“But in May 2015 I started getting chest pains after doing a lot of exercise. It felt like I had a really bad stitch, only it was higher up in my body with aching across my shoulders and down my arms.”

With his family history of heart disease, a concerned Mike visited his GP, where he was referred to a specialist for further tests. However, no abnormalities were detected.

But in August 2016 – nine months after experiencing his first chest pain – Mike’s condition worsened.

“I wasn’t able to take more than about 20 steps without the pain coming on. It was incredibly intense at times, and I was struggling to walk. I just knew something was wrong.”

Mike, who is married to wife Kay and has two children, Stephan and Lauren, went back to his GP and was referred to Warwick Hospital. An angiogram revealed four blockages. Doctors discovered that his small blood vessels had grown to ‘bypass’ the blockages allowing blood to reach the heart muscle, which was keeping him alive.

He was referred to a cardiologist at Walsgrave Hospital in Coventry, and a week later had a quadruple bypass. The surgery lasted four hours but was a success.

Mike spent four days recovering in ICU, and a further three days in hospital before he was allowed back home. Since then, he has made lifestyle changes, cutting down on saturated fats, salt and sugar, and with the guidance of his cardiac team, he later took up running.

Mike is now taking on the London Marathon to raise vital funds for the BHF’s lifesaving research into heart conditions. There are around 65,000 people living with heart and circulatory diseases in Warwickshire and these diseases kill more than one in four people in the county.

However, since the BHF was established, the annual number of deaths from heart and circulatory diseases in the UK has fallen by around half.

Mike added: “I’m hoping that by running, I’m helping to raise awareness of heart and circulatory diseases and the research the BHF is doing. By sharing my story, someone who may be in a similar situation to me can recognise the symptoms and get the treatment they need early on.

“It’s thanks to BHF research that I’m here now and want to give back and say thank you. It doesn’t matter how fit you think you are, heart disease can affect anyone.”

To sponsor Mike visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mike-page999

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