Back in a heart­beat to raise aware­ness

Cy­clist takes on chal­lenge just months af­ter car­diac ar­rest

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

An­drew Win­stan­ley, 42, suf­fered a heart at­tack five days be­fore Christ­mas 2016 when he was train­ing for the 70-mile Iron Man chal­lenge on his bike.

Just five months on, the man­ag­ing di­rec­tor is pre­par­ing to take on Pru­den­tial Ride Lon­don on July 30 to raise funds for the Bri­tish Heart Foun­da­tion (BHF).

He said: “I was train­ing for my first full Iron Man last De­cem­ber when I started get­ting chest pains, I ig­nored it but it got worse and I felt like my chest was be­ing crushed.

“When I pain­fully reached the top of the last hill at the 28mile mark, I could hardly breathe let alone cy­cle, I knew I needed an am­bu­lance.”

Mr Win­stan­ley, who had a new­born three-month-old at the time, is now tak­ing part in an in­tense re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion pro­gramme to re­build his fit­ness.

“The whole ex­pe­ri­ence was men­tally tough,” he added.

“One minute I was train­ing for one of the hard­est chal­lenges in the world, the next I was un­der­tak­ing a year-long re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion pro­gramme to get me back on my feet.

“It was also a huge strain on my wife Katie – our Christ­mas plans were dashed and she had to ex­plain to our chil­dren what hap­pened.

“It was a huge eye-opener as I re­alised heart dis­ease can af­fect any­one, although I tried to do as much as I could to pre­vent it, some­times it’s out of your con­trol.

“That’s why re­search into how we can bet­ter treat and di­ag­nose heart at­tacks is so im­por­tant.”

Mr Win­stan­ley, who has pre­vi­ously com­pleted triathlons, the Iron Man chal­lenge, will take on Pru­den­tial Ride Lon­don with around 500 other cy­clists.

The mam­moth chal­lenge takes rid­ers through the Lon­don Olympic 2012 cy­cle route, through cen­tral Lon­don and the Sur­rey coun­try­side.

Ev­ery year, the cy­cle raises around £300,000 to­wards the fight against heart dis­ease and funds life-sav­ing re­search.

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