Best feet forward for heart charity

Holly is pictured with dad Simon and mum Lynne.
Holly is pictured with dad Simon and mum Lynne.

Lanarkshire girl Holly Henderson and mum Lynne strode out in style at the weekend to raise money for Heart Resarch UK and to support her dad, Simon.

For Holly (7) and Lynne (35), from Law, it was their third Subway Helping Hearts 5k, which was held at Strathclyde Country Park.

Simon (36) was born with congenital heart disease but was only diagnosed with it when he was 24 which, he said, came a shock as he thought he was fit and healthy.

He said: “When I was feeling unwell, I went to my GP who then sent me to a cardiologist. From there it escalated pretty quickly.

“A few weeks later I was in London Bridge Hospital where I received a pig valve replacement, also known as a porcine valve or a bio-prosthetic heart valve.”

Simon thought this would mark the end of a troubled time but worse was to come when complications arose with his replacement valve.

He continued: “It deteriorated faster than anticipated. The only thing to do was to have open heart surgery and have a mechanical valve.

“As the mechanical valve puts me at risk of a blood clot, I have to, and will need to, take warfarin for the rest of my life.

“Even though I suffer from the physical effects of two aortic valve replacements, I have always had the attitude that I would not allow my condition to hold me back.

“The experiences and lessons I learnt when recovering from the first surgery definitely helped me deal with the second more positively.

“I’ve had to cut back on certain ‘luxuries’ however that’s a small price to pay in reality. At the time of the second surgery, I was with Lynne and Holly was so very young. It really helps to put things into perspective.”

Lynne’s original motivation for entering was that she felt it was a way that she and Holly could contribute towards helping other people in the same position as Simon.

She said: “I feel that because Simon has heart disease I need to be strong for all of us. Raising awareness of heart health and the research a charity like Heart Research UK does in preventing heart disease is crucial. The fact I can help by having fun and being fit with my family is just the perfect way to support Simon and others in his position”.

All money raised by runners goes towards Heart Research UK and Subway’s Healthy Heart Grant scheme which provides up to £10,000 to community projects that promote helping heart health.