Danielle James

married couple

Danielle James is making her mark in the fight against heart disease by cycling our legendary London to Brighton Bike Ride for her brother, who survived a cardiac arrest a week before Christmas 10 years ago.

Danielle signed up to mark the ten year anniversary of her brother Dean James’ heart stopping due to a condition called Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM), where the muscle wall of your heart becomes thickened. Dean suffered a major cardiac arrest aged 21 at his workplace. He was given CPR and put into an induced coma and thankfully, Dean survived.

Danielle explains:  “On December 19th 2007, I received a telephone call no family member should ever experience - my brother’s heart had stopped at work.  His colleagues gave him CPR until the paramedics arrived and as soon as I found out; I rushed out the door and to the hospital in complete and utter shock.

“In the hours that followed, as Dean was in an induced coma, we were told that things could go either way and we had to prepare ourselves for the worst. Instead of spending the festive period we were so looking forward to with loved ones; I was walking aimlessly down hospital corridors in a state of shock and helplessness. But after 21 hours, ICU finally started to bring him round and with the greatest relief he opened his eyes, a sight I will never forget.

Ten years on, Dean has a wife and three children, which are all milestones I never thought would happen.

Things could have been so much different that Christmas, which is unbearable to think about. I don’t want anyone else to go through the same experience, which is why I am supporting the BHF and its life saving research into fighting heart and circulatory conditions.”

The London to Brighton Bike Ride

Now in its 43rd year, the London to Brighton Bike Ride is Europe’s oldest charity cycling event, and over the years has seen hundreds of thousands of cyclists pedalling over 41million miles, helping to raise nearly £70million for the fight against heart disease.  This year it’s hoped the event will raise around £3million for the BHF’s vital work. Registration for teams and individuals are now open for the London to Brighton Bike Ride.