Heart patient swims Channel distance as thank you to NHS

A former patient, after recovering from open heart surgery, swam the equivalent of the English Channel to raise £1,250 for Croydon Health Charity.

Charity effort: Debbie James swam 22 miles in 12 weeks as part of her recovery

Debbie James was referred to the Croydon Cardiac Rehabilitation service following open-heart surgery, after having been diagnosed with severe aortic valve regurgitation.

The rehabilitation service team often work with patients in their recovery from a cardiac event by encouraging them to increase their activities and exercise.

James sought to mark the anniversary of her surgery, her “Valversary”, in a big way, and decided that she would use her regular swim for a swimathon challenge.

James set herself an ambitious target of swimming at least one mile – 64 lengths of a 25metre pool – once a week for three months, increasing this to two miles a week, covering the last mile to complete her challenge on her Valversary – May 3.

Raising funds for the Trust charity was her heartfelt thanks to the service, and the people who treated and cared for her through what was a difficult time in her life.

“I did it, completing 22 miles in 12 weeks. Thank you to everyone for your donations and support. I really could not have done it without you all. A massive big thank you to the cardiac rehab team for getting me through the last 12 months.

Cheer leaders: member of the Croydon rehab team at poolside for James’s last big effort

“Now to think of my next challenge.”

The Croydon Heath Charity helps to improve services, transform clinical spaces, support innovation as well as supporting staff’s health and wellbeing initiatives.

There is still an opportunity to donate to help this cause on Debbie James’s Just Giving page, which will help many people following many different cardiac events to get their confidence back.

Cardiac rehab specialist nurse Anna Turvey, together with Amy Grant, the cardiac rehab service manager, joined James in the pool for the final swim.

Turvey said: “The team treated Debbie as part of her on-going recovery and have seen her grow in confidence and improved health.

“When Debbie expressed interest in doing this challenge myself and my team wanted to give her all the support and advice she needed to get to her ultimate goal.

“We are so happy and proud of this achievement for her, and this is such a remarkable demonstration of giving back.”

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This entry was posted in Charity, Croydon Health Charity, Croydon NHS Trust, Health, Mayday Hospital and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Heart patient swims Channel distance as thank you to NHS

  1. E Ohan says:

    You are amazing Debbie xxx

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