6 amazing people we met in 2014

Rehana Browne

One of many things which make it such a privilege to work on Heart Matters is the amazing people we interview each issue. These range from people who've dealt with a diagnosis of cardiovascular disease, or are caring for a loved one, to others who’ve made lifestyle changes or embraced exercise to improve their heart health. Here are some of our highlights.

Hilary Surridge, widow with a new outlook on life

Hilary Surridge and Emily ElliottHilary lost her husband suddenly to a heart attack. Afterwards she felt lonely and depressed, and was lacking in confidence. She’s since begun volunteering in a BHF shop, where her manager Emily Elliott (in left of picture) has watched her transform into a confident woman with new skills and a new outlook. 

John Stewart cares for his wife after her heart attack

After 60 years of marriage John Stewart is now a carer as well as a doting husbandThe story of John Stewart and his wife Elizabeth is a real-life love story. The couple, who were childhood sweethearts, remain happily married 60 years later although their relationship has changed over time. Since Elizabeth suffered a heart attack John cares for her full time, and says he does it “out of love”. 

Read more of John's story, including his passion for cycling.

Bill Overton stays positive despite severe heart failure

Bill OvertonDespite taking 26 tablets a day for heart failure and other long-term conditions, former lieutenant colonel Bill Overton stays positive. Supported by his wife Liz, and drawing on the determination he learned during his long army career, Bill says he can “make life worth living”. He hopes his story inspires others; it certainly inspired us.

Read more about Bill Overton.

Sarah McBryde, mother and heart patient

Sarah McBryde with daughter EllieWay back in January, Sarah McBryde told us how discovering she had coronary heart disease affected not only her, but her daughter Ellie. Ellie, then 14, has Asperger syndrome and, as Ellie’s main carer, Sarah was worried how her daughter would cope. With support from family, and cardiac rehabilitation, Sarah is managing her condition well, and has learned to make time to be physically active

Rehana Browne feels “lucky to be alive”

Rehana Browne, who feels lucky to be alive after having a cardiac arrestHaving a heart event often affects people emotionally, as well as physically. For flautist Rehana Browne, 23 at the time of our interview, surviving a cardiac arrest has led to an amazingly positive outlook on life. Thanks to the swift actions of a doctor at the gym where she collapsed, she survived. Rehana now has an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) and regained her strength by walking a little each day. She truly is an inspiration. 

Read more about Rehana's story.

Gladys Grimstead, knockout 90-something

Gladys Grimstead Age 96, Gladys is by far the oldest in her tai chi class. She uses tai chi to build strength and flexibility and also does yoga and goes dancing despite having a pacemaker fitted three years ago. Gladys says she doesn't feel any older than she did when she was 50. We think she looks, and is pretty amazing, too. 

Read more about Gladys and two other astonishing ninety-somethings.

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