Leicester cardiologist with a ‘big heart’ to ride through Alps for local charity
Posted: Wed, 23 Apr 2014
A HEART doctor will set off on a 500km Alpine bike ride next month in aid of local charity the Joe Humphries Memorial Trust.
Alastair Sandilands, a consultant cardiologist at Leicester's Glenfield Hospital, will be getting on his bike to cycle in the Swiss Alps for a challenging four-day ride, starting on May 15th.
Alastair specialises in investigating and treating arrhythmias – irregular heart patterns – and has been closely involved with the work of the Joe Humphries Memorial Trust.
The trust was set up after the death of Rothley teenager Joe Humphries, 14, who died of sudden arrhythmic death syndrome – SADS – while out on a training run near his home in October 2012.
"I can't think of a more worthy cause to support than the Joe Humphries Memorial Trust, nor a more fitting one – because the awareness-raising that the trust is doing around sudden heart deaths links so closely to my work.
"About 16 to 18 young people, aged 12 to 35 years old, die in Britain a week from undiagnosed heart problems. It's vital that we continue to research this area so that we can improve early diagnosis and help to prevent further deaths."
The trust has already set up an annual conference, bringing together medics and experts from across the country, to put SADS on the national health agenda.
Other work that the trust is doing includes donating defibrillators to schools and sports clubs, and providing life-saving training so that people know what to do if someone collapses suddenly in cardiac arrest.
Alastair, who will be joined on his Alpine bike ride by colleagues, added:
"I chose to do a bike ride because it is one of the ways I keep fit and enjoy it so much. I thought it would be a fantastic idea to raise money for the JHMT to support the invaluable work they are doing in Joe's memory. This also involves one of my specialist areas of work at the Glenfield Hospital.
"I hope to raise at least £1,000 to help the trust with its vital work."
Steve Humphries, chair of the Joe Humphries Memorial Trust said:
"We're delighted that Alastair has chosen to support us in this way. It will be a fantastic achievement for him, biking across the highest mountain system in Europe, and it will also raise further awareness of trust's 'break the silence on SADS' campaign.
"We're determined to do all we can to raise awareness of, and reduce the incidence of, sudden, unexpected death in young people and the fundraising efforts of generous supporters like Alastair will help us towards achieving that goal."
Alastair is asking for donations to help raise as much as he can for the trust. To support him, please go to https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/alastairsandilands1