STEVE Eneas counts himself lucky that he is able to play sports and keep fit and indulge his love of cycling.
That’s because Steve, 51, was born with a condition called aortic stenosis, where the opening of the aortic valve is too narrow.
It meant as he was growing up he was unable to take part in many sports.
Then 32 years ago Steve, from Draycote Road, in Horndean, had a prosthetic heart valve fitted in an operation that changed his life.
Now he treasures every second – and has vowed to be as active as possible to keep as fit as he can.
He said: ‘Being born with a heart defect meant I couldn’t take part in many sports.
‘At school I couldn’t take part in games and it made me feel quite excluded.
‘If I took part in a cross country run I would be ill for days afterwards.’
Steve was due to have the valve replaced aged 21 – once his heart stopped growing.
But a routine scan at the age of 18 found an operation needed to be done as soon as possible.
‘A routine hospital check showed my aortic valve was dangerously narrow,’ added Steve.
‘I was told if I didn’t have an operation to replace the valve I wouldn’t see Christmas.
‘A week later I spent 10 hours in surgery.
‘The operation was a success and three months later I made a full recovery.’
The procedure meant for the first time Steve was able to take part in sports and found a love for cycling.
That passion led Steve, along with wife Tiffany, 44, to set up a local branch of a mobile bike repair service called BikeFixers.
It means he can combine his love of cycling with his work. ‘A lot of my friends told me that if they had a problem with their bike, they would need to take it somewhere to get it repaired,’ said Steve.
‘Not everyone has transport or a bike rack to do this.
‘And that made me think the service should go to people.’
‘I’m fully qualified to repair bikes.
‘I think it’s important people keep their hearts and themselves fit. By providing a repair service to peoples’ homes it can give them the encouragement to go out and enjoy cycling.’