When Derry man Patrick McCarry suffered a heart attack in 2014, he could never have imagined that three years later he’d be fit enough to run a marathon.
However, next month, that’s exactly what the Waterside man will do.
Patrick is running the Walled City Marathon to raise funds for Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke.
Patrick’s heart attack happened in March 2014 when he was out for a run, something which he would have done on a regular basis.
Someone with a keen interest in keeping fit, Patrick’s health problems came as a complete shock, as he explains:
“I was always an active and healthy person and really enjoyed running. That’s why it came as such a surprise when I fell ill.”
After his heart attack Patrick worked with the NICHS Supporter Care Team who provided him with advice and support on how to cope with what happened and how to move forward. Today, with the guidance of his doctors, Patrick has been able to get back into his running shoes and has even taken part in a number of half marathons across Northern Ireland. He has now signed up to take part in the Walled City Marathon this June.
Patrick wants to get the message out there that it’s possible to fully recuperate after such a traumatic event.
“It’s important for everyone to know that they can recover from these types of illnesses, they can go on to live happy active lives doing the things that they love,” he said.
After his own experience with Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke, Patrick said he wanted to repay the charity which had helped him so much after his own heart attack
“I wanted to do what I could to help promote the charity and the fantastic work it does.
“They really helped me when I needed it and I want to give back and encourage others to support NICHS. I hope that by sharing my story I will be able to help others who are going through similar circumstances to me and make them aware that NICHS are there to help them.”
Patrick would like to encourage everyone to join the NICHS’ Run to Remember’ team by signing up to the Walled City Marathon this June.
He added: “Without fundraisers NICHS wouldn’t be able to make a real difference within Northern Ireland.”
Those who are inspired and want to get involved can keep up to date with details about running events in Northern Ireland on on the NICHS website https://nichs.org.uk/support-us/running-events/