Tarik recovers from open heart surgery to sign up for cycling challenge

Tarik Abdel-hady. Picture: fergusburnett.com

Tarik Abdel-hady. Picture: fergusburnett.com - Credit: fergusburnett.com

A dedicated fundraiser from St Neots is preparing to cycle from London to Brighton to raise funds for the British Heart Foundation.

Last year, Tarik Abdel-hady, 33, completed the London to Brighton Bike Ride just months after open heart surgery.

This year he has signed up once again to complete the 54 mile challenge and to help raise funds for the foundation’s life saving research.

In July 2014, Tarik required surgery to fix his mitral valve after his heart enlarged. Having had a heart murmur for seven years, Tarik never thought it would escalate until during a routine check-up doctors told him he would need surgery.

His wife was five months pregnant at the time and as Tarik prepared for the operation he worried what it would mean for his family. Fortunately Tarik made a full recovery.

Few months later, when his employer, Tesco, announced its partnership with the foundation Tarik decided this was his opportunity to give something back and he wasn’t going to let his surgery stop him.

Now Tarik is joining Team Tesco once again on June 19 to cycle London to Brighton for the second time.

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He said: “I was only 24 when doctors discovered I had a heart murmur. I was never really worried at that point. I just had to go for check-ups and make sure everything was in working order, it became a bit of a box ticking process. I never thought anything more would happen.

“I had been getting checked over for years, so when they told me my heart had enlarged and they were going to have to take me in for an operation I was really shocked.

“My wife was five months pregnant at the time and my first thought was, imagine if I don’t meet my baby. It might sound dramatic but at the time I was in shock and an operation on your heart is a big deal.

“Fortunately the operation was a success and as soon as I came round I knew I wanted to give something back to the foundation.”

To join Tarik and take on the London to Brighton Bike Ride, visit bhf.org.uk/L2B or call the events team on 0300 456 8355. Entry fees will be £40 for adults and £35 for under 18s.