A YEAR ago, dad Jason Brodie-Browne was so ill with a heart problem that he could hardly hold a conversation, put on his socks or play with his daughter.
His heart was operating at just 12 per cent of its capacity and even simple daily tasks were a huge challenge.
But thanks to medication developed through research by the British Heart Foundation he’s now on the mend.
And as a huge ‘thank you’, Jason will take on the charity’s 35-mile Round the Harbours bike ride, which is run jointly by the BHF and The News.
He’s one of 312 people who have already signed up to take part in the ride, which takes place on June 10.
Now Jason, 39, of Fareham Road, Gosport, is urging readers to sign up to help organisers reach their ambitious target of having 2,012 riders at the event in honour of the year of the Olympics.
Jason’s daughter Eva was two years old when he was diagnosed with a type of heart failure called dilated cardiomyopathy early last year.
‘It was awful not being able to play with Eva,’ he said.
‘When children are that age you want to play with them all the time and do all the things they want to, but I couldn’t do any of it and it was horrible.
‘I couldn’t walk or hold a conversation and putting on my socks was like doing a 50-mile bike ride.’
Jason, who had always been fit and healthy in the past, received treatment at Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth, as a result of BHF’s research, but doctors are unable to detect how he got the condition.
His heart is now operating at 40 per cent and improving, but he will never make a full recovery or reach the healthy level of 70 per cent capacity as the heart cannot repair itself after it has been damaged.
Jason was also told that he now carries a risk of Sudden Death Syndrome, which causes the heart to stop instantly.
This risk will remain for the rest of his life.
Jason called on readers to join the ride, which passes through Southsea, Havant, Fareham and Gosport, using the two ferries to link the areas. He said: ‘It’s my way of saying thank you to everyone who helped me when I was ill and giving something back to them.
‘Everyone at the hospital was amazing with me, and they make a huge difference to so many people’s lives.
‘But they wouldn’t be able to do it without the research that BHF provides.’
To take part in Round the Harbours bike ride, call 0808 100 2109, email firstname.lastname@example.org or go online and log on to bhf.org.uk/roundtheharbours
Fees in advance are £15 for an adult or £7.50 per child. Entry on the day costs £20 for adults and £10 for children.