“I was born with transposition of the great arteries, which means my blood was pumping the wrong way around my body and was not picking up any oxygen. At 10 days old I turned blue and my parents rushed me to hospital, where I was transferred to the Freeman Hospital. I initially had a balloon procedure which then led to open heart surgery when I was seven months old.
"I underwent the Senning procedure, which means my heart works the opposite way to a normal heart but it was a success and I have been fit and healthy with yearly hospital check-ups the ever since. Although I don’t remember any of it, I have the scars on my chest as a daily reminder.
"Last year we had a fright when I suffered with fluid on my lungs which affected my heart’s function and rhythm. I got in touch with my cardiac nurse and was admitted to Freeman’s hospital where I was treated straight away. I’m now back to my yearly check-ups.
We are still buzzing from the amazing experience and we raised over £1,200 for the BHF which I'm so proud of.
"Being unwell again last year really made me sit and think that I wanted to give something back for all the care and treatment I had received to keep me alive.
"A skydive really appealed to me and once I got permission from my cardiac consultant, I knew it was what I wanted to do! Thankfully my friend agreed to take part with me otherwise I may have not had the courage to do it.
"We are still buzzing from the amazing experience and we raised over £1,200 for the BHF which I’m so proud of.
"I wouldn’t be here without the work of the British Heart Foundation so I feel it’s the least I can do to give something back. I would recommend it to anyone and I hope to take part in more events for the BHF in the future.”
Better known for being the voice of Heart FM’s evening request show, Roberto was inspired to skydive for the BHF after learning the importance of looking after your heart health.
As a baby, Roberto was diagnosed with a hole in his heart. Growing up in Oakwood, North London, he underwent twice-yearly check-ups, after doctors decided against complicated surgery.
I wanted to take on a new challenge, and skydiving for the BHF is something I’ll never forget.
When he got older, Roberto began to put on a lot of weight and by the time he reached 26 he weighed over 23 stone. Suddenly something clicked and Roberto decided to turn his life around, for the sake of his heart. By changing his diet and getting fit, Roberto lost over eight stone.
“I was certainly nervous before my skydive - it was a good job I wasn’t near a microphone that day! But I wanted to take on a new challenge, and skydiving for the BHF is something I’ll never forget.”
Sign up for a tandem skydive
Inspired to become a Heart Flyer? Take to the skies and save lives, and sign up to a tandem skydive with us today. All you need to do is pay your deposit fee, then raise a minimum of £400.
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