A dozen Blackpool Transport staff have raised over £750 for their local NHS Charity by walking the 11 mile Number One bus route.
Led by Matt Consadine, 44, a Tram Conductor for Blackpool Transporter, the walkers set off on their challenge in aid of Blue Skies Hospitals Fund, the charity for Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
He said: “The route is a decent distance, but for a couple of us who are just out of heart surgery, it’s a long, long walk.”
Matt came up with the idea to “Walk the One” as a way to give back to the Cardiac Centre at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, whilst fundraising with his Blackpool Transport colleagues.
Having suffered from a life-threatening aortic dissection two years ago and undergoing 14 hours of surgery, he’s keen to thank the Vic for the treatment he received.
“I’m still alive; I’ve still got a job, so I can’t complain about anything. Things could’ve been a lot worse.”
He explains that there’s one quote he’s particularly warmed to since the surgery.
“It doesn’t matter what the weather is like, what’s on the TV, or if there’s anything wrong- check your pulse. If you’ve got one, today is a good day.”
The operation was performed by Mr Andrew Duncan, a Cardiothoracic Surgeon, who admits that Matt was lucky to survive.
“In simple terms, aortic dissection is when the aorta splits and either squashes the heart or ruptures the aorta. The survival rate is very low as it’s often not recognised earlier, but we see around 12 people a year with this condition.”
Coincidentally, the walkers presented the cheque to Mr Duncan on Aortic Awareness Day on 19th September – an international campaign to raise awareness of acute aortic dissection in the minds of health care workers treating people with acute chest pain symptoms, as it’s a diagnosis that is frequently missed with fatal consequences.
Kila Redfearn, Head of Fundraising, said: “Hearing Matt’s story makes you realise how much this donation means to him, and we’re very happy that the money can go towards enhancing patient care in the department that saved his life.”
The walkers were: Brian McEvoy, Chanelle Payne, Danielle Aoslin, Danny Atkinson, Jason King, Lisa Flynn, Madzz Aoslin, Martin Wilson, Matt Consadine, Matty Coe, Neil Towler, Sue Moon, Terry Aoslin.