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Don't look down Dave ... heart patient's epic abseil
8:00am Tuesday 15th April 2014 in Local News
AFTER undergoing gruelling heart surgery most people would be taking it easy.
But not Dave Walker. He is planning to abseil 154ft down Southend Hospital’s tower block to raise money for the unit that cared for him.
Just seven months ago, Mr Walker, 59, was on the operating table, undergoing six hours of quadruple heart bypass surgery.
Next month, with his GP’s blessing, he will abseil ten floors off the tower block to raise money for the hospital’s acute medical unit, which cared for him before he was transferred to Gordon Hopkins ward.
Mr Walker, an IT trainer for Essex Police, will be joining up to 100 other daredevils at the event, which takes place on May 17 from 10am to 4pm.
He said: “My life is back to normal, but I wanted to do something because I was looked after so well.
“I am a bit nervous about going over the edge but, at the end of the day, it will be worth it.”
Mr Walker, of Cumberland Avenue, Southend, very nearly didn’t survive to undertake the challenge because, he admits, as a “typical bloke” he dismissed early niggling chest pains as indigestion.
It was only when crippling chest pains caused him to pull over on the A130 on his way to work in August last year that he finally went to his GP.
The GP sent him straight to hospital where staff at the acute medical unit told him he had suffered a heart attack and he would need surgery because all four arteries to his heart were partially blocked.
Two weeks later Mr Walker underwent surgery, using veins taken from his leg and chest area.
Thanks to his wife Caraline and daughter Megan, 15, along with regular cardiac rehab sessions, his life gradually returned to normal, though he wasn’t able to do much to help look after his son Jack, 20, who has cerebral palsy.
Mr Walker, who is now back at work, said: “I would say to anyone not to ignore anything like this.”
To find out about the abseil, call 01702 385337 or e-mail fundraising @southend.nhs.uk
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