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Birthday runner’s race success, one year on from heart surgery

A Wirral man who had open heart surgery just 12 months ago, has taken on a half marathon running challenge to say thank you to the hospital that care for him.

Simon Finlay, 47 years, was shocked to discover he had a congenital heart defect and was told that the best option was to undergo major heart surgery at Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (LHCH) to correct the abnormalities that were discovered.

Simon at the end with his medalIn early March 2023, the father of two and housing development director, was admitted to LHCH for his life-saving operation. A couple of weeks later, following unexpected complications, he was rushed back into theatre for an emergency procedure.

Simon said: “I won’t lie. It was a huge shock when I found out what the issue was with my heart and it took me some time to process the enormity of the surgery that I needed.

“However, I understood that I couldn’t live without the operation, and from everything I knew and had been told about Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital, I felt that I was in the safest hands.

“Despite requiring two procedures, going through the pain and worry of the whole situation, the care that I received from everyone at the hospital was first-class. I’ve experienced firsthand the miraculous work they do, and I’ve felt the love and support from all parts of this amazing hospital.”

Three months after surgery, Simon returned to work and very quickly set his sights on returning to full fitness, with his ambition to complete the Liverpool Half Marathon on St Patrick’s Day 2024 – and on his birthday.

He said: “By October last year, I’d managed to complete my first 5k run without walking which was a big milestone. Since then, with the support and encouragement of family, friends and work colleagues, I’ve gone from strength to strength. I’m looking forward to marking my one year heart anniversary by completing the run and achieving a personal high.

“By raising money for the LHCH Charity, it’s a small way for me to say thank you for everything they have done for me.”

Simon completed the half marathon on Sunday 17th March and has so far raised more than £3000.