Heart Heroes Midlands

Everyone who was nominated is very special and we are proud so many amazing people have the chance to be recognised for their fight against heart disease. 

We are delighted to announce the winners for our Midlands Supporter Day are as follows:

Young Heart Hero

For an exceptional young person raising awareness of the BHF's aims and ambitions. This person might be a heart patient, a campaigner, a blogger, a volunteer or a fundraiser.

Lucyann Lee heart hero winner 2017

Winner: Lucyann Lee. Lucyann herself has a heart condition and at just eight years old she launched a BHF fundraising group - Lucy’s Pockets Fundraising Group - to organise events to help fund BHF research. Lucyann has never let her condition get in the way of living life to the full and it didn’t stop her raising almost £1,400 climbing Mount Snowdon. The family’s generous support of time and energy help the BHF to continue fighting for every heartbeat.


Fighting Spirit Award  

This award will go to an individual or group of people who have been affected by congenital heart disease and used their experiences as a force for good.

Ivy Mitchell heart hero winner 2017

Winner: Ivy Mitchell, Lily Mitchell, Lee Mitchell. Ivy Mitchell spent the first 10 months of her life in the Intensive Therapy Unit (ITU). She has had open heart surgery twice and will need cardiac care for the rest of her life. But despite being told numerous times to expect the worst, her grit and determination for life pulled her through and the whole family has rallied round to support her. Ivy’s father Lee pushed himself to the extreme by cycling in the coast to coast bike ride and ran five ultramarathons, while sister Lily is devoted to her; she learnt how to give Ivy oxygen so she could help look after her sister.



Sue Caines heart hero winner 2017Winner: When Sue’s fifth child Devon was born with a complex congenital heart defect, she displayed amazing strength and a positive outlook on life. After a routine scan, Sue and her husband Gavin had to break the news to their children, and gave them the strength to be positive at such a difficult time. As well as looking after her five children, Sue supports the BHF’s fundraising team, encouraging local schools to get involved and fundraise. In 2017 Sue and her family will start the Caines family fundraising group in Lincoln.


Ruby Owen heart hero winner 2017Winner: Ruby Owen 16-year old Ruby has suffered with a congenital heart condition since birth and will soon need a heart transplant. But together with her family, Ruby is determined to fight back. Ruby’s dad cycles to fundraise and is planning a summer coast to coast ride. Ruby talks to people at her school about needing a heart transplant to raise awareness of heart health. Ruby also struggles with her confidence and exam stress, but this award will give her just the boost she needs.


Heart Health Professional Award  

This award will go to an individual who has shown drive and commitment to improve the lives of heart patients and/or their families. This could be BHF-funded scientists, cardiologists, cardiac rehabilitation instructors, pharmacists, GP's and nurses.

David Adlam heart hero winner 2017

Winner: Dr Abi Al-Hussani is a cardiologist on the BHF funded research project Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (SCAD). She looks into research on this rare condition that causes heart attacks in young people. Dr Al-Hussani understands that having a sudden heart attack caused by a rare condition when you’re young, fit and healthy is a shock and comes with it many emotional responses and questions, with one patient describing her as “the best thing that has happened to many SCAD patients in the UK.”


Winner: Dr David Adlam is Head of a BHF funded research study looking into Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (SCAD). Unlike other heart conditions, it happens out of the blue and doesn’t appear to be preventable. It is BHF funded researchers like Dr Adlam that give them hope – something which is hard to find when you have a rare heart condition. Dr Adlam helps his patients feel less isolated and frustrated about not having answers and is described by one patient as “the best thing that has happened to the UK SCAD patient community.”


Inspiration award  

For involving and inspiring others in the fight for every heartbeat. This could be demonstrated through their fundraising efforts, taking part in a physical challenge, organising an event or volunteering activities.

Mario Pep heart hero winner 2017

Winner: Mario and Pep. Bethany was 17 years old when she suffered a cardiac arrest at work. Mario (who had never been trained to do CPR) was talked through what to do while Pep called for an ambulance. Mario did CPR for 15 minutes before the first paramedic arrived, and kept on doing chest compressions right up until the ambulance arrived. Bethany’s family were warned by doctors that she may have suffered brain damage from a lack of oxygen, but thankfully she came out of her ordeal fine, all thanks to the quick actions of Mario and Pep.


Helen Knights heart hero winner 2017Winner: Helen Knights was devastated after losing her husband Mark to an undiagnosed heart condition. This tragedy inspired Helen to do a year of fundraising in his memory and in 2015 she raised over £13,000 for the BHF. Helen has done it all: from running a marathon and doing a parachute jump, to bake sales and Wear It Beat It events at work and in her local pub. Not one to give up there, Helen completed The BHF Harewood House Half Marathon in February, and wrote a blog about her training and fundraising to inspire more supporters to sign up and raise funds. All of this money has gone towards funding heart research, to ensure others don’t suffer the same sudden devastation.


Robert Underwood heart hero 2017Winner: Robert and Maggie Underwood. After the tragic loss of two children to sudden cardiac arrest, Robert and Maggie were determined to make sure this didn’t happen to others. They work constantly to make sure public access defibrillators are available and at the moment have secured them in over 180 venues in Leicester and have delivered the BHF’s call, push, rescue course to over 20,000 people. They have also worked hard to ensure that every school in Redditch has a defibrillator. Robert and Maggie don’t do this for the recognition but those who see all the inspirational work they do, feel that this award is a fitting tribute to all they have done to make sure that we fight for every heartbeat.