Walking for cause close to his heart

Quadruple bypass patient Brian Sacker with fundraising administrator from Blue Skies Fund, Lizzie Shepherd.

Quadruple bypass patient Brian Sacker with fundraising administrator from Blue Skies Fund, Lizzie Shepherd.

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A heart patient who had to undergo a quadruple bypass will be taking on a 15-mile charity walk just four months after having surgery in thanks for his treatment.

Brian Sacker, who lives on Heron’s Reach, Blackpool, was diagnosed with heart disease and had to have the surgery in January.

In a coronary bypass operation, the surgeon grafts a blood vessel between the aorta – the main blood vessel leaving the heart – and a point on the coronary artery, to get around or ‘bypass’ narrowed sections of the artery caused by heart disease.

With a quadruple bypass, four grafts are done.

Blackpool has just been revealed as the 20th highest area in the UK when it comes to heart disease.

According to figures released by the British Heart Foundation, showing average death rates for three years between 2009 and 2011, Blackpool had 104 deaths per 100,000 people due to heart disease.

The highest death rate from heart disease in the country, was in Tameside.

Mr Sacker has done charity walks in the past and decided he wanted to take part in the Wirral Coastal Walk in May for Blackpool hospital trust charity Blue Skies Hospitals Fund and Trinity Hospice.

He said: “I’ve done six walks before for Clatterbridge in Liverpool and decided I probably wouldn’t do any more.

I then had a quadruple heart bypass at the end of January in Blackpool Victoria Hospital after being diagnosed with heart disease and wanted to give something back, so decided to do the walk this year.

“I didn’t have bad pain or anything, it was more discomfort. As I work in the ambulance service we give out advice to people all the time, so I thought I should take my own advice and get it checked.

“My blood results and everything were OK, but one of the doctors sent me for a stress test to check – it was there we found out I had a problem.”

Mr Sacker, who has worked in the ambulance service for 21 years, said: “It’s nice to say thank you and this is the only way I know how, by doing something constructive.

“I’m so grateful to the team in the hospital; it’s like a dream what they did for me - that’s the only way I can describe it.

“To think a surgeon operates on you and actually has hold of your heart; it’s fascinating. The hospital does a fantastic job.”

Anyone who would like to join the walk, sponsor or get information should telephone 07834642033 or email briand1952@googlemail.com

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