This is Stephen Little a fit 60-year-old ex-police officer from Penwortham who never thought he would need the services of a heart rehabilitation centre.

Stephen, who is married with two children, was a regular visitor to his local gym.

In July 2017 on a normal visit to the gym he started to get pains in his chest. This resulted in him spending five days in Royal Preston Hospital with tests revealing he had chronic coronary heart disease, which was linked to a strong family history of heart disease, he was then placed on the waiting list for a heart bypass.

During Stephens pre-op appointment in November 2017 he suffered a heart attack, this didn’t stop his operation going ahead and on his 59th Birthday he had a quadruple heart bypass at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

The next 6 weeks after his operation and road to recovery were spent here at Heartbeat, the North West Cardiac Rehabilitation Centre based in Preston.

Stephen said “I really enjoyed my rehabilitation classes at Heartbeat, not only did it help me gain my fitness back it also gave me my confidence back.”

Stephen wanted to give something back to Heartbeat as a thank you for the help and support he received during his rehab journey, he had wanted to take to the sky and jump out a plane, however his cardiologist has strongly advised him not to this so soon after his operation, so Stephen has recruited family members to take on the challenge on his behalf! On Sunday 7th July Stephen’s nieces Aimee Smith and Katie Whish will be doing a parachute jump to raise funds for Heartbeat and Kidney Research UK. Please show them your support and visit https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/aimeeandsteve10

Lisa Riding Heartbeat fundraiser said “It was lovely to meet Stephen and hear just how much he valued the care he received from us here at Heartbeat. Your fundraising efforts are so very much appreciated, and I am sure in a few years’ time you’ll get the thumbs up from your cardiologist to fulfil your parachute jump experience, but for now let’s leave that bit to your nieces.

Heartbeat supports over 950 local people per week just like Stephen and have been rehabilitating heart patients and those at risk for over 40 years.

Your support is needed now more than ever before to enable us to continue the work we do within the local community. If you are interested in taking on a challenge in aid of Heartbeat we would love to hear from you. Contact the fundraising team today on 01772 717147 or email lisa@heartbeat-nwcc.org.uk”