Life-changing heart operation prompts London to Brighton cycle ride for Eastbourne man

An Old Town man is getting on his bike this weekend after months of training for the annual British Heart Foundation’s (BHF) London to Brighton.

Friday, 14th June 2019, 3:33 pm

Chris Schmidt, 48, has been training hard for the cycling event and has raised £500 for the charity which is very close to his heart.

He said, “Back in 2013 I underwent open heart surgery at The Heart Hospital, London, to have a mechanical aortic valve fitted following the discovery of aortic stenosis, a congenital defect which was diagnosed by chance during a routine checkup for an unrelated ailment.

“Without the vigilance of my GP, the expertise of the surgeons and nursing staff at the Heart Hospital, London, and the ongoing support of specialists made possible by the unique way the NHS system works I would simply not be here today.

“And it is through the research made possible by bodies such as the BHF that the healthcare system is able to continue leading the way in cardiovascular research.”

Chris’s surgery changed his lifestyle for the better and included a four stone weight-loss.

He said, “I quit smoking, re-evaluated my lifestyle and diet and took up non-competitive cycling.”

The BHF has been running the 54-mile London to Brighton Bike Ride for 44 years as part of its mission to beat heartbreak forever. The charity has helped halve the number of people dying from heart and circulatory disease but sadly every day hundreds of people lose their lives.

Chris said, “It’s only thanks to support from people like us that the BHF can create new treatments and discover new cures.”