Grandfather puts heart into challenge

Marathon man Chris York with Debbie Beales and  Iona McAllister from CPFT with Posh players Brad Inman, Hayden White and Chris Forrester during his first lap of the Posh Ground. EMN-160709-155819009
Marathon man Chris York with Debbie Beales and Iona McAllister from CPFT with Posh players Brad Inman, Hayden White and Chris Forrester during his first lap of the Posh Ground. EMN-160709-155819009
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A grandfather of six who was critically ill in hospital after suffering a heart attack just a month a go is planning a marathon challenge to thank the people who saved his life.

Chris York is aiming to walk 26.2 miles during September in aid of the British Heart Foundation. He completed the first mile by walking round the pitch at Peterborough United’s Abax Stadium with the help of friends, those who had cared for him, and Posh players Chris Forrester, Hayden White and Brad Inman.

Marathon man Chris York with Debbie Beales and  Iona McAllister from CPFT with Posh players Brad Inman, Hayden White and Chris Forrester and friends  during his first lap of the Posh Ground. EMN-160709-155906009

Marathon man Chris York with Debbie Beales and Iona McAllister from CPFT with Posh players Brad Inman, Hayden White and Chris Forrester and friends during his first lap of the Posh Ground. EMN-160709-155906009

Chris said: “I am very fortunate to have survived my heart attack. Walking this marathon is just my attempt to do something to show my appreciation to everyone at the NHS – at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust, Peterborough City Hospital and Papworth Hospital - and raise money for the British Heart Foundation so it can continue to fund much-needed research.”

When he first felt unwell, Chris, well known on the local political scene and chairman of Farcet Parish Council, took himself to the accident and emergency department at Peterborough City Hospital.

The grandfather of six said: “I had a pain in my neck and what felt like a cramp in my shoulder. I knew the pain I was experiencing wasn’t right which is why I went to hospital. But I never suspected it was a heart attack and I was amazed when doctors told me.”

From Peterborough City Hospital, Chris was transferred to Papworth Hospital where he underwent a life-saving triple-bypass operation.

Since being discharged back to his home in Stanground, he has been cared for by the coronary heart disease team at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT), the physical health, community care and mental health provider. Chris York also happens to be a governor of CPFT.

Led by specialist nurse Debbie Beales, the team provides a range of services including advice about diet and exercise together with psychological support to help people rebuild their lives and prevent further coronary problems in the future.

Posh captain Chris Forrester said the Peterborough United squad were backing Chris in his challenge. He said: “He’s undergone a massive operation and it must have been tough, but he seems in good spirits so we wish him all the best in reaching his target.”

Nigel Cole, Northamptonshire and Cambridgeshire fundraising manager for the British Heart Foundation, said: “What Chris York is doing is fantastic especially as it is so soon after his operation. Chris is living proof there is life after a heart attack and his efforts will raise vital funds to ensure research continues.”

To donate to Chris York’s fundraising drive visit: https://mymarathonsept.everydayhero.com/uk/ChrisYorkmarathon