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And I will walk 500 miles… for charity 

A retired technical operator and mechanical engineer is set to take on a gruelling 500-mile, six week hike to raise funds for a hospital charity after he received life-saving surgery.

65-year-old David Scott from Haydock hopes to complete the historic Camino de Santiago challenge next month and raise funds for Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital Charity.

The Camino de Santiago is a legendary pilgrimage route and significant for its transformative experiences. For David, this symbolises his determination in returning to health and strength following his quadruple heart bypass at the Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital in 2021.

David will start his journey for the 500-mile charity walk on 12th May 2024 when he flies out to Alicante in Spain to meet his long-time friend and walking buddy. Tony. They will then travel to Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, in France, to begin the trek over the Pyrenees along the North Coast of Spain through the Rioja region, through Galicia, and then on to Santiago de Compostela.

David hopes to walk 15miles every day and expects to take 35-40 days to finish it.

He said: “I want to do an amazing challenge for an amazing charity, and to say thank you to the incredible staff at the hospital who made such a difference to me.

Back in 2021, David said although he had always been fit and active, he began to experience real problems with his breathing and went to his local GP. He was quickly referred to Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital for further diagnostic tests, and it was discovered that he had severe narrowing of the arteries in his heart and a blockage which would require major surgery.

“It was a real shock for me and my family when I was told I needed open heart surgery. We were all worried, even though I knew I would be in the best possible hands with a great surgeon and wonderful nurses and staff to look after me.

“I was in hospital for about 10 days, including a few difficult days in the intensive care unit, but the care and attention I received from every member of staff was outstanding… and I’m still here to tell the tale because of them.”

David, who has always been a keen walker, said a chance conversation on holiday a few years ago with someone who had recently completed and documented their own 500-mile pilgrimage in a book, led to an increasing desire to take on the challenge himself.   

“I know it will be hard going, but over 300,000 people do the Camino de Santiago each year. I want to be one of them.” he said.

“I can’t wait to experience the sights and sounds along the way and meet lots of new people. It’s going to be a proper adventure but will hopefully raise some valuable funds for a charity very close to my heart, as well as a couple of other local causes that I’m passionate about.”