Former soldier from Yate to run London Marathon two years after heart transplant

July 06 2022
Former soldier from Yate to run London Marathon two years after heart transplant

A FORMER soldier from Yate who had a heart transplant two years ago is taking on this year's London Marathon.

Phillip Hardwell, 35, says he wants to "give something back" to others by raising money for the British Heart Foundation.

Phill was diagnosed with a rare and genetic form of heart disease called arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy at the age of 29, in 2017.

His condition rapidly deteriorated, and in late 2019 he was admitted to the Royal Papworth hospital in Cambridge with severe heart failure to wait for a transplant.

The Voice reported at the time how friends and strangers alike raised money to support his young family as he spent months in hospital before and after the operation in April 2020.

Phill said: "Waiting for a heart transplant was the only option I had left.

"After an agonising five months in intensive care, being fitted with an artificial heart and being on an ECMO machine (which re-oxygenates blood outside the body) for 10 days, I finally received my new heart during the first lockdown of the pandemic.

"This was thanks to my donor and their family for selflessly agreeing to organ donation, the amazing staff at Royal Papworth Hospital, as well as the groundbreaking research in technology and equipment being used today which helped to keep me alive long enough to make the transplant possible.

"Two years post transplant, my recovery has been incredible and I have been able to enjoy my second chance at life with my two sons, Reggie and Luca. 

"One of my aims in life is to give something back to others who have been, or are suffering with heart problems, in the hope that by raising funds for the BHF, will allow them to live a longer and more comfortable life."

The BHF funds around £100 million of research each year into heart and circulatory diseases, and their causes, including stroke, vascular dementia and diabetes.

After making a remarkable physical comeback, Phill ran the Bristol Half-Marathon last year and took part in a charity football match to raise funds for the Royal Papworth Hospital charity.

He has set up a fundraising page for his latest challenge, with a target of £4,000.

The page can be found online at justgiving.com/fundraising/phillip-hardwell1.

Phill said: "This challenge is something that is close to my heart (literally!), but something that would have been deemed impossible just over two years ago, back when I was unable to walk."

Picture: Phillip Hardwell running the Bristol Half-Marathon last year