Michael was hours away from leaving on a holiday in early 2016 when his dad, Bob, suffered a heart attack and went into cardiac arrest. Bob, 63, died in hospital a few hours later. This year, Michael, 31, from Somerset, will take on the BHF’s London to Brighton Bike Ride in honour of his beloved father. Here’s Michael’s story in his words.
Since Dad’s passing, I’ve wanted to do a personal challenge to honour him. The London to Brighton Bike Ride, held on Father’s Day, was the perfect fit.
I was up early and getting ready for a skiing trip when my brother Andrew burst into my room. “Dad’s not breathing,” he kept shouting. I ran to Dad’s room and saw him lying lifeless in bed. Andrew performed CPR as my youngest brother Chris called the ambulance.
The paramedics did a heroic job in the ambulance to bring back a faint heartbeat, but sadly dad passed away soon after reaching the hospital. It all happened so suddenly, and there were no warning signs.
It’s hard to express how much impact Dad had on my life. The toughest days are when I forget for a second that he’s not here. I used to love talking with him about everyday aspects of life: work, sport and our shared love of West Ham United. I always turned to him for advice, on matters big and small.
Dad was very active in running the Bridgwater Cricket Club, where the family would spend weekends during the summer. In memory of him, the club now hosts an annual BHF Red Day, raising funds towards the BHF’s research into heart and circularity conditions.
Since Dad’s passing, I’ve wanted to do a personal challenge to honour him. The London to Brighton Bike Ride, held on Father’s Day, was the perfect fit. So, on June 17, my girlfriend and I will cycle the 54 miles from the Clapham Common to Brighton’s seafront. Dad will be with me on every pedal.
I also want to thank my family and friends, who have been with me all the way – and will be cheering me on during the bike ride.
To help us fund our vital research, take part in the London to Brighton Bike Ride 2019. Together, we will beat heartbreak forever.
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