Charity champ Colin Mallen has raised more than £600 by cycling from Newcastle to London in less than 24 hours.
The 52-year-old, from Whitburn, took on the challenge on Saturday, in aid of the British Heart Foundation, who helped him through a tough time.
I have to thank the staff at the Freeman Hospital as well, because if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be here today.Colin Mallen
He was one of 370 people who took on the mammoth cycle and was the 67th person to cross the finish line, completing the 309 mile journey in 22 hours and 46 minutes.
He said: “It was pretty tough but the weather was on our side, we left the thunderstorm behind in Newcastle.
“I’m still recovering from it now, my legs are a bit stiff, but I did it with three of my mates and we helped each other get through it. The atmosphere and camaraderie was brilliant.”
Colin, who is a support worker for Mencap, has had his own personal battle against heart disease.
In 2003, while out for a run he suffered a severe bout of vertigo, which made him collapse.
He was taken to the hospital, where doctors discovered a problem with his left ventricle. Colin was advised to attend regular check-ups to monitor the situation, but no immediate concerns were expressed.
However in 2008, Colin was rushed into hospital with ventricular tachycardia (VT), a rapid heart rhythm, which can be potentially life- threatening.
After a cardioversion procedure, to return his heart rate to a normal level, and after a few days in hospital he was fitted with an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) implant to help prevent future episodes of VT.
A few incidents led to him having his ICD removed in 2012 and after he began suffering chest pains, it was discovered that the front of his heart was not receiving enough blood. He underwent a procedure to help widen the artery.
Colin has had a few more problems but is now fighting fit and is no longer on any medication. He added: “I’m pleased about how much I raised and I’m really grateful to everyone who sponsored me. It’s not easy getting people to hand money over these days but everyone has been so generous.
“I have to thank the staff at the Freeman Hospital as well, because if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be here today.”