Heart transplant survivor takes on 90 mile cycle for UHB Charity!
Blake Thomas, dad Mike, and friend Bryan Hyslop cycled an incredible 90 miles from Alfreton to Skegness in order to raise money for University Hospitals Birmingham Charity’s Heart Transplant appeal on the 22 August. They were supported by Blake’s sisters Frankie and Georgie who cheered them on from the roadside!
Blake fell ill over Christmas 2019 with a virus and unfortunately didn’t get any better after visiting his GP. On his third trip to the GP he told them that he had a resting heart rate of around 127bpm and was quickly sent to hospital the next day. He was then transferred to Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham where he had a BiVAD operation to fit him with a special pump to keep his heart beating. He was then put on the urgent transplant list and before long he received the life-saving gift of a heart transplant. Incredibly, Blake was awake and chatting just a few hours after his operation! This was clearly a sign of things to come as Blake has completed this epic challenge just five months into his recovery!
Blake said of his transplant experience: “I am beyond grateful to anyone who has donated their organs or signed up to the organ donor registration list. I can’t put into words how thankful I am to the staff who cared for me, they were all fantastic and helped put me at ease when I was at my lowest point. This is my way of giving back to the hospital that saved my life.”
Blake’s dad Mick said he chose to join his son to fundraise for UHB Charity because: “The hospital gave me my son back so I wanted to do something to show my immense appreciation for the incredible care Blake received.”
Speaking of his fundraising challenge, Blake said: “This ride was the most enjoyable one I’ve done so far and I surprised myself with how well I managed the climbs, especially the two miles uphill before Sleaford!”
Cathryn Worth, Fundraising Manager at UHB Charity, said of Blake’s challenge: “A huge congratulations to everyone involved, we are blown away by Blake’s fantastic fundraising and we are thrilled his recovery is going so well.”
UHB Charity is proud to support the incredible work of the transplantation team at QEHB, and with Blake’s help, we can continue to fund further research into heart transplants, as well as providing state of the art equipment, over and above that which the NHS is able to provide.
Blake set himself an initial target of £200 but has beaten this with a smashing total of £1,000 in online and offline donations! If you would like to support Blake’s efforts and help him raise even more, please donate via his JustGiving page here.