A Chichester teenager, who said he was ‘incredibly grateful’ to be alive, has cycled 73 miles around the Isle of Wight with his mum, who first spotted his life threatening heart disease.
Following a football match when he was 13, George Ashby went straight to mum Amelia’s GP surgery in Lavant, something he said he ‘never normally does’, and he had an impromptu heart test with his mum’s new stethoscope. Amelia listened to George’s heart and heard a ‘massive murmur’. He was quickly diagnosed with life threatening heart disease and had urgent, life saving heart surgery. Read more here
Speaking after the charity cycle, completed to ‘help save the lives’ of other young people, Amelia said: “It was a really good experience. It was hard work. People recognised us and were cheering us on. It should have been 66 miles but we got lost and did an extra seven. It took about seven hours of cycling.”
George, 16, who has recently started work experience in the surgeon department at St Richard’s Hospital, said it felt ‘surreal’ when people recognised them and cheered them on.
He added: “We had a lot more help than we were expecting. It was really hilly but it was an amazing experience.”
George and Amelia, who set out to raise £2,500, have reached £3,267 on their Virgin Money Giving page, which will be donated to CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young).
George said: “It shows that people do care. When it happens to you, you realise it is a serious problem. I hope that I have made a difference and perhaps saved someone’s life.”
Before setting off on Friday, June 21, George said: “I want to increase awareness because every week, 12 young people die from some undiagnosed heart disease. I am incredibly grateful to be here today and now I want to help other people live through their undiagnosed heart condition.”