A WOMAN will be joining 15,000 cyclists for a 54-mile charity ride.
Danielle James, from Southsea, is taking part in the British Heart Foundation’s London to Brighton Bike Ride this summer.
Things could have been so much different that Christmas, which is unbearable to think about.Danielle James
She decided to sign up after her brother Dean survived a cardiac arrest in 2007.
The 33-year-old said: ‘On December 19, 2007 I received a telephone call no family member should ever experience – my brother’s heart had stopped at work.
‘His colleagues gave him CPR until the paramedics arrived and as soon as I found out I rushed out the door and to the hospital in complete and utter shock.
‘In the hours that followed, as Dean was in an induced coma, we were told that things could go either way and we had to prepare ourselves for the worst.
‘Instead of spending the festive period we were so looking forward to with loved ones, I was walking aimlessly down hospital corridors in a state of shock and helplessness.
‘But after 21 hours, ICU (Intensive Care Unit) finally started to bring him round and with the greatest relief he opened his eyes, a sight I will never forget.’
Dean suffered the cardiac arrest when he was 21 because of the condition hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, an inherited disease where the muscle wall of the heart becomes thickened.
Now 31, Dean is married and has three children.
Danielle added: ‘Dean has reached milestones I never thought would happen.
‘Things could have been so much different that Christmas, which is unbearable to think about.
‘I don’t want anyone else to go through the same experience, which is why I am supporting the BHF and its life-saving research into fighting heart and circulatory conditions.’
Every year in the UK, there are more than 30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests and less than one in 10 survive.
Now in its 43rd year – making it Europe’s longest-running charity bike event – the London to Brighton event sees around 15,000 cyclists of all abilities ride 54 miles from Clapham Common, through Sussex and to Brighton’s seafront. Registration for teams and individuals is now open for the event, which takes place on June 17. Visit bhf.org.uk/l2bbr