James suffered a heart attack in 2014 and is spending Father’s Day with his daughters on the saddle as he undertakes the BHF’s London to Brighton Bike Ride for the second time this June.
Whether my daughters are riding alongside me or cheering on from the side-liners, it's great to see all of us support and have a laugh with each other after such a difficult time, as well as raising money for such an amazing charity.
“Without the work of the BHF such a precious daddy-daughter time may not have been possible after I suffered a heart attack in April 2014 which led to an emergency stent procedure.
“Being close to leaving my daughters without having a father in their lives was a massive wakeup call and I knew I needed to transform my lifestyle habits. I bought a bike and started cycling to and from work; I quit smoking and changed my diet as well to help lower my cholesterol level.
“I now cycle around 20 miles a day and spend three hours in Richmond Park pedalling over 40 miles at the weekend, as well as going to the gym twice a week. It’s actually the same gym where I attended my cardiac rehabilitation, so I’m constantly reminded of the huge improvements I’ve made over the past two years.
“My family and I will be getting our customised T-shirts out once again – we thought we’d stand out from the crowd and get them printed with ‘Team Smith’ and the BHF logo.
“But the event isn’t just a cycle ride for the Smith family – it’s our time to celebrate all of us being together on Father’s Day, a moment I will never take for granted again.
“Whether my daughters are riding alongside me or cheering on from the side-lines, it’s great to see all of us support and have a laugh with each other after such a difficult time, as well as raising money for such an amazing charity.
“I would recommend this event to anyone. The atmosphere is fantastic and everyone can do it, whether you have a time to beat or just want to wander along and take in the stunning views.
Heart attack history
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