Marathon man’s heartfelt thanks

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Preparing for a half-marathon is tough by anyones standards but for John Wilkinson it is even more incredible because it is just a year since he suffered a heart attack.

On April 21 last year John Wilkinson was rushed to Chesterfield Royal Hospital but his heart attack was so severe he had to be transferred to Sheffield Northern General where he was in surgery within an hour.

Now just over a year on he is getting ready to take on the Robin Hood Half Marathon to say thankyou to the Chesterfield hospital unit that he says saved his life.

“It was all a blur and all I remember is waking up at the Royal on Manvers ward in the coronary care unit,” said John talking of experience.

“It completely floored me and I had no confidence whatsoever. When I went home I struggled to venture out of the front door. If I went for a walk and I couldn’t see my car then I panicked because I would wonder how the paramedics would find me if I had another attack.”

But it was the Royal’s cardiac rehabilitation nurses that helped turn his life around with a programme of exercise and confidence building to help get his life back.

“I owe them everything,” he said. “At first I was dubious and wanted nothing to do with it but the way they spoke to me, they made me feel that I could do anything and that’s why I’m doing this for them.”

John has now returned to work, cycles, walks and has enrolled with the support of his wife Helen to run the Robin Hood Half Marathon in Nottingham on September 30 aiming to raise £10,000 with all proceeds going to the cardiac rehab nurses team.

John added: “I’ve always been quite fit, had a healthy diet, I’d given up smoking two years previous and don’t drink excessively but my heart problem was genetic.”

Donate at www.charitychoice.co.uk/fundraiser/john-helenwilkinson/robin-hood-half-marathon/1138