Heart Heroes North

Inspiration Award

Kate Hughes

kate hughes, heart hero winner

Kate Hughes has gone to the ends of the earth for the BHF. In the five years since her husband died of a sudden heart attack, Kate has been an inspiration.

She has raised £14,000 to fund research into heart disease by taking on intimidating treks.

She has trekked to Everest base camp, through the Sumatra jungle, rafted down the Zambezi and completed the Inca trail in Peru.

Her children want her to know how proud they are of her and say: “Keep up the great work Mum!”

Innovation Award

nicola toole and lesley hough, heart hero winners

Nicola Toole & Lesley Hough

When someone has a cardiac arrest, a defibrillator can be the difference between life and death. When staff defibrillator-training at Bolton’s major sports arena stopped, Customer Service Managers Nicola and Lesley stepped up to fill a gap.

They took the initiative and became trainers so they could share skills with staff and people in the community.

Influencing Award

bronnach pemberton, heart hero winner

Bronnach Pemberton

Bronnach is a teacher, but now she’s taken on the biggest subject of her life. Just after the birth of her third child Bronnach had a series of devastating heart attacks, leading to heart failure.

Despite being forced to give up the job she loved, Bronnach has turned her natural teaching skills to a really big education topic: to improve the public’s understanding of a little-known heart condition.

Young Heart Hero Award

Louis and Chole Hare, heart hero winners

Chloe and Louis Hare

For Louis and Chloe Hare, their dad Neil was their hero. The fit paramedic clinical supervisor died suddenly from a heart attack aged just 52.

Within months of his death, his grieving children started raising money for the BHF, setting up a Facebook page to honour their dad and selling pin badges in his memory.

With many more fundraising activities planned, mum Helen says Chloe, 14, and Louis, 11, are her young heart heroes.

Rachel Hooley

rachel hooley, heart hero winner

Rachel has always been a happy child, always smiling. But aged seven her life changed forever when she was diagnosed with end-stage heart failure. Before long she needed a heart transplant.

Despite everything she’s endured, including severe migraines, Rachel’s determination shines through. She has competed in four British Transplant Games, winning bronze and silver medals. And her mum says her daughter has never stopped smiling.

Fighting Spirit Award

Ashton Thompson

Four year old Ashton has a heart condition called Truncus Arteriosclerosis Type 2. Ashton has had two open heart surgeries, with the first one taking place when he was just 8 days old. He’s currently waiting for his third operation this year in Newcastle.

He’s faced enormous difficulties in overcoming his health challenges. Ashton has developmental problems and is unable to eat unaided or talk, but communicates well with makaton sign and eye contact. He copes well throughout everything he has had to go through, and remains a strong character and a happy, smiley boy. Ashton is an inspiration to everyone he meets.

Lizzie Jones

Lizzie Jones, heart hero winner

For Danny Jones, playing rugby at the highest level took commitment. When he died from a hidden heart condition, Keighley Cougars lost a key player, wife Lizzie lost the husband she adored and five-month-old twins Bobby and Phoebe lost their dad.

Now Lizzie is showing the same commitment in her determination to raise awareness and funds for research so that other families don’t suffer the same heartbreak.

Devon Caines

devon caines, heart hero winner

Devon is still only small, but when it comes to fundraising for the BHF, he’s thinking big. Devon was born with several serious heart problems and endured repeated surgery and hospital stays.

But, drawing on the spirit of his large and generous family, he has taken on many big challenges, including appearing in films and fundraising in schools and stores, to support the BHF in a big way.