AN ELLESMERE Port woman whose brother is a heart patient is taking on a nocturnal challenge to raise funds for the British Heart Foundation.
Vickie Costelloe, 34, and her husband David will cycle 52 miles under the stars for the BHF’s Manchester to Blackpool Night Ride.
Vickie’s brother James, 27, was diagnosed with rare heart defect Ebstein’s Anomaly hours after he was born at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.
He was transferred to Myrtle Street Children’s Hospital, in Liverpool, where he was christened after his parents were told their son’s chances of survival were slim.
Surgery and a combination of medicines were successful and helped James to pull through.
But in 2010 he began to suffer from heart problems and underwent more treatment at Manchester Royal Infirmary. Then in April this year he was told he needed further surgery or he would become very ill.
James is now recovering from his operation and hopes to be cheering his sister on when she crosses the finish line under the lights of Blackpool illuminations.
Vickie said: “It has been really hard for James growing up as he has always suffered with getting out of breath and he couldn’t take part in sports and do things other children did.
“James is recovering at the moment and it is really difficult as we don’t know what the future holds.
“Seeing everything James has been through and being so involved with his recovery periods has made me so determined to do things for the British Heart Foundation as without funding, they wouldn’t be able to carry out work which helps people like my brother.”
Vickie and James’s sister Stephanie, 40, was also diagnosed with a hole in her heart when she was six. She is now fully recovered.
Vickie added: “If it wasn’t for the technology and research that is available my brother and sister would not be here today. I really hope other people in the area will sign up to the Manchester to Blackpool Night Ride and join me for what will be a great event.”
The Manchester to Blackpool Night Ride takes place on September 29 and 30.
Nancy Prior, head of events at the BHF, said: “Victoria has experienced the devastation of heart disease firsthand and I hope her story inspires others to sign up to the event.”
Entry to the ride is £30 per person and participants must be 18 or over. To enter, visit bhf.org.uk/m2bdark, email email@example.com or call 0300 456 8355. You can sponsor Vickie and David at www.virginmoneygiving.com/vickiecostelloe.