A dad who thought he wouldn’t be able to walk his dog following a heart attack has cycled the length of Britain to thank the team who helped him.
Gareth Williams became unwell while cycling from Tenby to his home near Swansea in June last year.
He was taken to Morriston Hospital where he was fitted with a stent that same night after a heart attack was confirmed.
The 50-year-old father of two said:
“I thought my life would never be the same again. I didn’t think I’d ever be able to walk the dog or ride my bike.”
Four weeks after the heart attack, Gareth went for his first appointment at Morriston’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Centre.
The team at Morriston Hospital provides rehabilitation for patients who have experienced a cardiac event and/or undergone a cardiac procedure such as stenting or coronary artery bypass grafting.
It offers a holistic programme that incorporates exercise, relaxation and educational components to help and support patients recover and get back to living their lives as fully as possible.
“The staff at the centre got me on the road to recovery.
“I attended twice a week for six weeks, building up my strength with the invaluable support from the team.
“Just one week after leaving the programme, I was back on my bike with a dream to ride John O’Groats to Land’s End to raise money for the centre and the excellent work that they do.”
Along with his best friend, Dai Mathias, Gareth cycled the 850 miles from John O’Groats to Land’s End over the course of seven days in August this year.
Gareth said: “I would never have been able to do this without Dai’s support.
“His daughter, Aimee was also in tow – she was our cook, van driver, sorted the tent and was someone to moan to.
“How she put up with us both for a week, I’ll never know.”
A total of £1,000 was raised from the sponsored bike ride, which Gareth has now presented to the rehabilitation team.
Cardiac rehabilitation nurse, Kim Clements said “This is an amazing achievement for Gareth and Dai. We are extremely grateful to them both for raising such a large amount of money for our department.
“It just goes to show what can be achieved by cardiac patients with the right rehabilitation and support and how much they benefit from attending our programme.”