Nicola Proud

The Rock up in Red Ball, Northallerton

Fundraising for British Heart Foundation
raised of £2,000 target
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British Heart Foundation

Verified by JustGiving

RCN 225971
We fund life saving medical research to beat the world's biggest killers.


Life in the Proud household changed rather dramatically on the 12th January. It was a normal Monday night and I’d been packing for a work trip away. At 10pm I found myself dialing 999 after my husband began getting severe chest pains. In those awful few minutes waiting for an ambulance thoughts of a heart attack were racing through my mind. I had done many years of first aid training in my younger days and this is how I’d always imagined a heart attack would present itself. But seconds later, thoughts of “He’s only 35 – it can’t be” would block out those frightening thoughts.

Paramedics arrived and Andy was whisked off to our local hospital. I sat in the waiting room for several hours with his parents and remember saying “They don’t think it’s a heart attack”. ”Of course it isn’t,” I kept telling myself “He’s only 35”. But the pain he was in was awful to see and something which gave me nightmares for many months following that night. At 2am I left the hospital having been told it was very likely that Andy had suffered a heart attack and this was confirmed to us the following day at James Cook Hospital.

I didn’t sleep a wink that night. Those hours waiting for our little girls to wake up were spent wondering how I would tell them daddy was in hospital but without worrying them. How would I fight back the tears as I tried to pretend everything was going to be OK when really I didn’t know that myself?

Andy was diagnosed with Coronary Heart Disease and we now face the harsh reality that this is likely to happen again. There’s been talk of heart surgery in the next five to ten years and sometimes it can feel like we are living on a knife edge. We’ve had to teach our girls how to call an ambulance, explain the signs to look out for, where daddy’s special spray is kept and tell them where they can get help if I’m not around. At rehabilitation we were warned that as this is hereditary we need to educate our daughters about the risks of heart disease and encourage them to lead as healthy a lifestyle as possible as they too will be at higher risk of this awful disease.

The day after the heart attack was a complete blur but one thing remains so strong in my mind. We have the most amazing family and friends. I already knew this but sometimes it takes something serious happening to make you really reflect and appreciate what you do have.
From my best friend arriving at 9am with a croissant, cup of tea and a hug; to our parents driving me to visit him as I was too exhausted to drive; to the literally hundreds of calls, text messages, emails and social media messages. Northallerton has a strong community and word quickly spread around the town. The support was and still is overwhelming!

When times are hard I like to think I’m someone who will always focus on the good bits and just a few weeks after this event I knew I needed to do something positive with all this amazing support for what we’d been through.

I have decided to organise a ball for the British Heart Foundation in our local town of Northallerton during Heart Month 2016. The Golden Lion Hotel has been absolutely amazing in terms of offering support for this event and it’s booked for 27th February 2016.

I’m asking the local community to get behind this campaign for a charity that has helped and will continue to help so many people. From their research into heart disease, to their practical and emotional support for those who have suffered, to their campaigns to educate people on life-saving techniques. This is a charity that has achieved so much but there is still so much more to be done. Sadly with Andy’s life-long heart condition and our girls being at higher risk of heart disease we know this is a charity that we will be going back to for further help and advice in the future. Join me in this campaign to “Fight For Every Heartbeat” as you just never know what’s round the corner.

About the charity

British Heart Foundation

Verified by JustGiving

RCN 225971
Heart and circulatory diseases are the world’s biggest killers. That’s why the British Heart Foundation exists. By funding research, we can help find treatments and cures that could save lives. With your donations and the awe-inspiring science we fund, we make science fiction a reality, together.

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