Former patient raised £1355 for Croydon Health Charity after heart surgery | Trust news

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Former patient raised £1355 for Croydon Health Charity after heart surgery

Former patient, Debbie James was referred to the Croydon Cardiac Rehabilitation service following open-heart surgery at the Cleveland Clinic, having been diagnosed with severe Aortic Valve Regurgitation.

The team work towards supporting patients in their recovery from a cardiac event and encouraging them to increase their activities and exercise more with a programme of education and exercise classes.

As part of her journey on improving her health and fitness, Debbie wanted to mark the anniversary, ‘Valversary’ of her surgery in a big way. She decided that she would use her regular swim for good and set a swimathon challenge, to give back to the team who supported her and raise awareness for anyone who had similar health issues.

Debbie set an ambitious proposal to swim at least 1 mile (64 lengths of a 25m pool) once a week for 3 months, she then increased this to 2 miles a week, swimming the equivalent of the English Channel. It was an amazing triumph for her to complete the very last mile on her Valversary - 3 May 2023.

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.

Debbie set a target of £500 and has now raised £1355 so far. The support and encouragement she received throughout was remarkable and we hope this puts her in the best position for another challenge.

Debbie said:

“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. Now to think of my next challenge”

The cardia rehab team showing their support:

The cardia rehab team showing their support.

The cardia rehab team showing their support.

There is still an opportunity to donate to help this amazing cause which will help so many people following many different cardiac events to get their confidence back. You can still show your support on Debbie's Just Giving Donation page here.

Anna Tovey, Cardiac Rehab Specialist Nurse and Team Leader, 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. I and Amy Grant, service manager for Cardiac Rehab, even joined her in the pool for the final swim.”

“We are so happy and proud of this achievement for her, and this is such a remarkable demonstration of giving back. We look forward to using the charitable funds to support innovation and improvements in the way we deliver care to our patients and we wish Debbie all the best on her next adventure.”


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