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Heart attack survivor takes on ironman challenge

A Scunthorpe man who suffered two heart attacks is taking on a challenge of a lifetime to support other patients.

Dean Atkinson suffered two major heart attacks after a bike ride in July 2013 and has decided to raise money to help other cardiac patients.

Having always been fit and active, he had set out cycling from Scunthorpe to Cleethorpes and decided to extend the trip by pedalling across the Humber Bridge before he returned home.

He started to feel poorly on the last leg of his journey but put it down to an injury he’d had four weeks previously. Once he got home he had his first heart attack in the shower.

Dean said: “I didn’t think anything about it as I just thought it was a bit of chest pain as I had had a long day and was probably nothing to worry about. I took myself off to bed to sleep it off. I didn’t want to cause any drama.

“The pain got worse though so I decided to take myself to the A&E at Scunthorpe hospital. I stood in the line and the nurses helped me straight away, I went to clinic room and has my second heart attack.”

Dean was blue lighted to Hull’s Castle Hill Hospital where he was treated for three days. He said: “After the heart attack I wanted to sell my bikes. I thought that was it for me. I thought a heart attack meant the end of being able to do all the fitness things I loved. But I had a word with myself and after just a week I was back on my bike.”

“I really struggled to get my head around what had happened, what it meant for me and my lifestyle. Over time I learned more about it and discovered I could still do the things I enjoy and take on challenges, such as an ironman event.”

Dean is all set to take part in the iron man competition in Bolton on July 17. He will complete a 2.4 mile swim in open water at Pennington Flash, followed by a 112 mile bike ride and a 26.2 mile run around Bolton town centre.

As part of his challenge he is fundraising for local charity Cardiac Rehabilitation Interest Group (CRIG). CRIG is there to help people in the North Lincolnshire area who have suffered from or are living with any type of heart problem.

Chair of CRIG Mickie O’Toole said: “We are delighted Dean is taking part in the iron man to raise money for our charity. Dean is such a lovely man with a great spirit. He is a great example of how to come at life after a heart attack. We really hope people get behind him and give him the support he deserves in taking on this challenge.”

Dean said: “I’m so grateful to my family and friends in supporting me to take on this challenge, especially my partner and daughter.”

To sponsor Dean in his Iron Man challenge please donate here

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