A Retford family has been honoured by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) for their outstanding contribution to the charity.
Fraser and Jenny Britton and their son Rob, have all fund-raised for the charity after Andrew, their second son contracted a virus which caused dilated cardiomyopathy and irreversible damage to the heart muscle on his honeymoon in December 2012.
Andrew was an extremely fit 32 year old who had just returned from a week’s triathlon training when the virus struck. Andrew had to have an LVAD device implanted to enable him to receive the successful heart transplant he has since had.
To recognise his brothers’ endurance living with such a serious heart condition, and to help fight heart disease, Rob Britton raised £6,500 for the BHF by swimming the English Channel in the Bournemouth Pier to Pier Swim in 2013.
Inspired by the swimmer Duncan Goodhew MBE who lost all his hair when he was young, Rob removed all his body hair prior to his swim in order to achieve his fund-raising target.
Rob and Andrew’s parents are keen supporters of the BHF.
Jenny volunteers at the BHF’s shop in Retford and Fraser organises an annual blues night which raises funds for the charity.
The Britton family said: “Although we had previously supported the BHF in a small way through donation, what has happened to Andrew has made it the major focus for us.”
“Because there is no cure for the heart failure which affected Andrew, due to severe dilated cardiomyopathy, it is vital that the research funded by the BHF continues to discover a successful treatment.”
“We shall continue to work to raise awareness as well as funds.”
The BHF’s Head of Events Nancy Prior added: “It gives me great pleasure to recognise the Britton family in this way.”
“It is thanks to the enthusiasm and commitment of people like them, we can continue to fund essential research into heart disease and save lives.”
Commonwealth heptathlon champion and BHF running champion Louise Hazel was on hand to present the winners with their awards.
In 2013, the BHF events – including half marathons and off and on-road bike rides – raised almost £10 million, with around 90,000 people taking part in fundraising activities in the UK and overseas
For further information on BHF events in your local area and how to get involved please visit bhf.org.uk/events