Consultant cardiologist’s pride at starting Great North Run

An NHS hero called up to help start this year’s Great North Run has spoken of how the experience will remain with him for the rest of his life.

Dr Mickey Jachuck, Clinical Director of Cardiothoracic Medicine at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, was invited to help start this year’s Great North Run.

Dr Mickey Jachuck, Clini- cal Director of Cardiothoracic Medicine at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, was one of four frontline health workers invited to help launch the 2021 event as it made its return.

They were part of the run’s ‘‘Great North Thank You Campaign’, which paid tribute to the heroic efforts of all NHS staff during the pandemic with artwork put on show along this year’s course.

He was also among the thousands of runners to take part in the half-marathon, after taking up running during the pandemic, and helped raise funds for the British Heart Foundation and Heart Failure Foundation, Pumping Marvellous.

Dr Jachuck worked on the Trust’s COVID-19 admission and inpatient wards in addition to his day job as a Consultant Cardiologist.

His team provided 24/7 cover for patients admitted with the virus, many of whom had developed severe respiratory failure and were critically ill.

Dr Jachuck said: “It was a huge honour and privilege to be asked to start the Great North Run, along with those representing the other NHS Trusts in the region.

“I’m proud to have represented all of my colleagues at STSFT who have worked so hard during the pandemic and are still doing so, to make sure that we are able to continue to provide high quality care for all of our patients.

“It was a complete surprise when I was told that I would be one of the official starters for this year’s race, but it was definitely an experience.

“I’m going to remember it for the rest of my life.

“I’ve always wanted to do the GNR, and it was exciting enough to be taking part in it for the first time, never mind being part of the event itself.

“I know what an iconic occasion it is, and so the opportunity to recognise and appreciate the efforts of NHS staff and other keyworkers was very welcome.

He added he looked out for his colleagues as he headed along the route, which would have ordinarily passed by South Tyneside District Hospital, but was changed for this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 concerns.

The others who joined him on Sunday, September 12, were Senior Sister Jade Trewick, of the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, Community Nurse Dorathy Oparaeche, from Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, and Occupational Health Lead Deborah Southworth from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead.