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Friday, 25 July 2014

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Cumbrian man who survived fell-top heart attack raising cash for doctors

This picture was taken moments before a father suffered a heart attack at the top of a Cumbrian fell.

Darren Tate photo
Darren Tate

Darren Tate has released images as his campaign to raise £20,000 to thank the medics who saved his life gathers pace.

The 46-year-old, who lives near Hethersgill, had been walking on Blencathra with work colleagues in June when he thought he was suffering from asthma.

He was only talked into going to hospital by the friends he was with but, just moments after arriving at the Cumberland Infirmary, he went into cardiogenic shock.

Darren’s terrified wife Jo was warned the next six to eight hours would determine whether he would live or die.

The swift actions of both his friends and the doctors saved his life and he is now embarking on an ambitious campaign to repay the debt he owes them.

Darren wants to raise £20,000 to be donated to the hospital’s heart unit.

“Without them I’d be dead, there’s no doubt about that,” he said. “I feel I owe them this debt and want to help pay back in the most obvious way I can.”

Darren, a data and communications manager for Enesco, plans to complete a triathlon covering the length and breadth of Britain – although much of it will be done in a gym, under the supervision of his rehabilitation nurses.

He said: “Obviously I still have to take it steady, but I am ok to do the triathlon as long as I keep to a steady heart rate and stick to what the rehab nurses say.”

Despite these limitations, Darren still wants to walk Hadrian’s Wall in person – rather than the equivalent distance in a gym – and plans a “lap of honour” back up Blencathra, with the colleagues who helped save his life, as well as friends and hospital staff.

Last week he got the all-clear to go ahead with his campaign and, with a website and Twitter account set up, he is beginning to gather sponsorship from businesses and schools. He is due to meet with Carlisle United soon to discuss promoting his cause.

Darren also hopes to get sponsorship from a gym.

He said: “I have just started back at work full time, so need the gym so I can fit exercise in at lunch time – otherwise it makes the day too long or it impacts on my family time.

“Adjusting to ‘normal’ life with two young children is tough, but I also have the added pressure that if I don't exercise my life expectancy drops dramatically!

“I am lucky to have a good, understanding and supportive wife.”

For more information visit www.heartsofcumbria.co.uk or e-mail heartsofcumbria@gmail.com

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