Back in a heartbeat to raise awareness
Cyclist takes on challenge just months after cardiac arrest
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.