On 17 September 2019 I'll start my 465km cycle from Amsterdam to London to raise money for two hospitals that are very close to my heart.
In June 1987 at 10 weeks old I underwent life saving heart surgery in the expert hands of Sir Magdi Yacoub at Harefield Hospital in North London. As you can imagine, for my parents' baby boy to undergo major heart surgery was a difficult and testing time. Luckily the nursing, surgery and support staff at Harefield were there to reassure them through every step of the way.
Since then I returned for regular check-ups at Harefield and Royal Brompton to ensure things remained in good working order. Although the main issues were superbly repaired by the magical hands pf Sir Yacoub, we've always known there would be a second surgery required to fix a mal-functioning Aortic valve and an expanding ascending aorta.
Fast forward 32 years I now live in Amsterdam, NL having moved here to start a new job in September 2017. Nine months on and now under the care of OLVG hospital in Amsterdam I was told I would need that second life changing heart surgery as soon as possible. I had a new metal valve fitted and was looked after by the Dutch staff at OLVG with the same care, precision and thoughtfulness I received for so many years in the UK.
One year to the day since the surgery I'll be half way through my cycle from OLVG in Amsterdam to Harefield in North West London; 465km over 5 days. I'll be raising money for both hospitals so they can continue to provide amazing care to others in the same way I received.
You can follow my training journey and regular updates on the trip @guiltfreepints on Instagram.
Thanks so much for the support