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News and events

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Heart attack survivor who feels a ‘debt of gratitude’ gives back to Epsom Hospital

A heart attack survivor who feels a permanent ‘debt of gratitude’ to Epsom Hospital has helped fund two new treadmills for the Cardiac Rehabilitation Service, which cost a total of £2,500.

Steve Critchley, a Dorking entrepreneur, suffered a heart attack in 2009. He was given live-saving treatment at St George’s Hospital, after which he spent eight weeks on the Cardiac Rehabilitation Programme at Epsom Hospital. Cardiac rehabilitation is designed to help patients manage their condition, improve their health and recover their quality of life after a cardiac event, for example after a heart attack, angioplasty, and heart surgery or following the diagnosis of heart failure or angina.

After completing the programme Steve set up his charity, Surrey Healthy Heart. Through his charity he has funded £20,000 worth of new exercise equipment for the cardiac rehabilitation programme during the past six years. Steve said: “I feel privileged to be here, and have a huge sense of gratitude to Epsom Hospital, as I do to St George’s.

“I will never forget the great care I received from the Cardiac Rehabilitation Team at Epsom, which is why I set up the charity Surrey Healthy Heart. Over the years, I have become great friends with Mary Evans, Cardiac Rehabilitation Clinical Nurse Specialist, and her team. I am so pleased to be able to support them and this fantastic service.

“The rehabilitation programme helped speed up my recovery 100% – I would urge anyone who has suffered from a cardiac event to attend rehabilitation as it gives people the opportunity to receive support and advice alongside those who have been through the same experience.”

As well as his charitable work, Steve also gives talks on the rehabilitation programme roughly every six to eight weeks. He said: “As I have been through something similar, I feel able to relate to them. I enjoy giving the talks, and hope the people on the programme enjoy them too!”

Mary explained: “Cardiac rehabilitation is an incredibly important part of the treatment and recovery of people who have experienced a cardiac event. We are very proud of the work that we do, and feel privileged to be able to help people at a time when they need it most.

“It is always a pleasure to see Steve, and we are delighted that he continues to do so well. We are extremely grateful for his generous support, and for giving up his time to support those currently completing the rehabilitation programme. Our patient feedback tells us that Steve’s talks are helpful to their recovery as listening to someone who has been through a similar life changing event  is essential to them. 

“It’s great to hear we made such a difference to Steve, but now he is the one who is making a real difference for us and our patients – thank you!”

To find out more Cardiac Rehabilitation Programme, visit www.epsom-sthelier.nhs.uk/cardiology

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