A Wearside lawyer who was just minutes from death from death after suffering a cardiac arrest during the 2015 Great North Run is tackling the event again – to raise funds for the charity that saved his life.
Iain Walker was only two miles from the finish line when he suddenly collapsed and had to be resuscitated by medics from St John Ambulance.
The 31-year-old received two electric shocks and was rushed to hospital, where he spent three weeks in coronary care, before being fitted with small defibrillator in his chest.
Doctors could not find anything wrong with Iain’s heart, with a combination of dehydration and exhaustion the most likely explanation for the collapse.
Now, Iain has not only made a full recovery, but got himself fitter than ever by running countless miles each week.
Having sat out last year’s Great North Run – cheering on his friend, Amy Watson, as she ran it for St John Ambulance, raising more than £600 in the process – Iain is ready to again take on the race that almost killed him.
Iain, who grew up in Fulwell and now lives in Pallion, said: “I was dared to take part in the Great North Run.
“I was not a fit person at the time, but I trained and I became what I thought was ‘fit enough’.
“It turns out I wasn’t.
“If I had not been lucky enough to collapse in front of a St John Ambulance tent and receive immediate, brilliant medical treatment, I wouldn’t be here today.
“They saved my life.
“I’d like to raise enough money to enable them to buy another life-saving defibrillator.”
Tyler Anderson, who is fundraiser for St John Ambulance in the North East, said: “It’s fantastic that Iain is raising funds to support our life saving work and he’s living proof that our volunteers can be the difference between a life lost and a life saved.
“We wish Iain all the very best on the run and we’ll be there cheering him, and all the other amazing runners, along the way.”
Since being released from hospital, Iain has completed countless training miles, taking part in numerous parkrun and 10k events.
He is a senior immigration caseworker and trainee solicitor for a Teesside-based law firm.
Those looking to sponsor Iain’s effort should visit www.justgiving.com and search for “Iain Walker Great North Run” on the website.
Tgis year’s Great North Run takes place on Sunday, September 10.