FITNESS fanatic Ben Timson is preparing to run a half-marathon – just seven months after suffering a terrifying heart attack aged 25.
The dad-of-one, of Castleford, will pound the streets of Nottingham to boost the coffers of the British Heart Foundation to thank the doctors and nurses who saved his life after the shocking attack in February.
Ben, of Lisheen Avenue, said: “After it happened I thought ‘how can I ever say thank you’? I have a little girl, Olivia, who’s seven. I just lay in bed thinking how close I came to never seeing her again. I want to give something back to say thank you for everything they’ve done for me.”
The electrician, who used to be in the army, went to his GP after experiencing pain in his chest ten miles into a 12-mile run earlier this year.
He said: “It felt like someone had shot a spear through my chest. I tried to push on and do the last two miles but I was in so much pain. I went back to the car and went home, but it was a couple of days before I went to the doctors. I knew something wasn’t right, but I’d had a cold so I thought I had a chest infection.
“I was sent to hospital for some tests, but they ruled out a heart attack early on because of my age and the fact I didn’t have any of the extra risk factors. But after they’d ruled out other things they discovered an artery in my heart had collapsed and I’d had a heart attack.”
Doctors at Wakefield’s Pinderfields Hospital performed surgery to fix the collapsed artery and Ben will now have to take medication for the rest of his life.
Ben said: “The doctors said I was the youngest person they’d treated on that ward. When they said I’d had a heart attack I couldn’t believe it. I’ve always been fit and healthy, run half-marathons and played football.
“I had to go through a period of rehabilitation, which was really frustrating. The people who normally have rehab after a heart attack are in their 60s, so it was difficult to take it easy and build up my strength again.
“When people think of heart attacks they think about what they see on the television – someone grabbing their chest and falling to the floor. That’s not always how it happens. My pain was excruciating, but it started as an aching pain in my back.
“I hope that by fundraising I can raise awareness of heart attacks – that they don’t just happen to older people. I’m glad I can keep on running and hope I can raise a lot of money through the half-marathon.”
Ben has already raised £500 through a charity fishing competition in July – but hopes to raise £10,000 for the charity during the year.
As well as the half-marathon, he has also organised a Zumba-leivable Fiesta at Knottingley Sports Centre from 6.45pm to 7.45pm on October 19. Tickets cost £5, available from the sports centre. Visit www.justgiving.com/ben-timpson to sponsor Ben.