Ten months ago, 74-year-old John ‘the legend’ Flude was in a very different place.
He’d just found out, after being rushed to hospital for a mysterious pain in his legs, that four of his arteries were blocked. To survive, he’d have to undergo a quadruple heart bypass operation and an aortic valve replacement surgery. An operation that would take nine hours to complete.
Although he survived, an infection post-surgery complicated his recovery, and he wouldn’t start rehab for another 10 weeks.
At the beginning of the month, however, John surprised everyone, including himself, when he completed a six mile walk along the Eastbourne seafront to help raise money for the British Heart Foundation.
The walk, which has taken place every year since 1971, helps raise money for the British Heart Foundation, the Cardiac Rehabilitation Team and the DGH with sponsorships and on-the-day donations.
This year, 75 cardiac patients like John, as well as friends and family, chose between a six-mile route to Holywell from the Western Lawns and a two-mile trip to the Water Treatment Works.
Remembering the event, and everything that got him there, John said, “It all happened so quickly. I am so grateful to the teams at the hospital for looking after me and helping me get back on my feet so quickly.
“I don’t think my family and I believed that I would be walking six miles just nine months after major heart surgery! I am really proud to have taken part in the Eastbourne Walk and have raised £527 for the BHF and the Cardiac Rehab team.”
Hannah Miller, fundraising manager for the British Heart Foundation, added, “It was a beautiful Sunday morning and we had a great turnout.
“Heart survivors like John are true warriors and a fine example of how vital research has been in progressing treatment to enable them to recover so soon after surgery. The fundraising total has so far reached a fantastic £3,700!
“With these funds and more we hope to make new discoveries and save more lives in the future and to fund the vital work that continues to support the patients at the EDGH.
“Thank you again to everyone who took part.”