Hitchin man cured of heart condition decides to give something back

Personal trainer Joe Brigham

Personal trainer Joe Brigham - Credit: Archant

A MAN who underwent revolutionary surgery to cure a heart problem which “plagued him” for most of his life has decided he wants to give something back.

Joe Brigham struggled with a condition known as debilitating ventricular tachycardia.

His heartbeat could reach in excess of 200 beats per minute for long periods of a time, due to an additional node in his heart. It meant the Hitchin resident couldn’t do things any normal adult would.

But since having a six-hour procedure, known as a cardiac ablation, five years ago, Joe, 31, has been able to live a normal life.

That is why he is on a fundraising mission for the British Heart Foundation (BHF).

He said: “Just over five years ago, I was unconscious on an operating table having a cardiac ablation to cure me of the debilitating Ventricular Tachycardia that had plagued me all my adult life. The condition robbed me of a lot of freedom and prevented me staying in very good shape.

“In my band, I had to be stretchered off stage. I couldn’t go near caffeine, having a beer with friends was Russian Roulette, and doing exercise was bound to cause some sort of effect. It completely wrecked my quality of life.”

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Once Joe underwent the procedure – which stopped his heart and sent wires up through veins in the leg to remove the additional node – he decided to try out things he had not been able to do before.

The Wedgewood Road resident studied to become a personal trainer and nutritionist, and also lost four stone in weight. He now runs his own company, Bright Hammer Fitness.

Nine of his clients are joining him in his fundraising efforts this year, taking part in a 5k obstacle course race in September. Joe also hopes to complete two other obstacle races later that month and in November, and Standalone 10k in October.

“I have been trying to give something back to the BHF every year by running in various charity events and earning a modest but decent bit of money for the charity – this being the 5th year since my operation I have decided to up the stakes,” he said.

“We (want to) try and smash our target and inspire other people to get fit, get healthy, and make a difference with it.”

Visit www.justgiving.com/brighthammer300 to donate.

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