Heather Bradley-Tsopanoglou, 49, was 14 miles into her training for the marathon in January this year when she suffered the heart attack.
It cost her place in the running event, and she was determined to find her running feet again. Unable to take part in the virtual marathon in October because of her recovery, she tried to defer her ballot place to 2021, but will be away with her wife Helen when the event takes place.
So Heather has decided to complete a marathon in her home town ending at Trinity Hospice in Bispham on January 29 and she is encouraging others to join the hospice’s Couch to 5k to help raise funds.
She said: “I am stubborn and determined. Even if I am crawling and it takes me eight hours, I will make it to the hospice. Not only for me, but for everyone who has sponsored me.”
Following a trip to Sheffield for her mother’s funeral, she started to feel unwell.
She said: “I had been driving for two and a half hours, and when I got out of the car I just felt stiff.
“My back was aching, and I thought I must have been tense on the drive home. Helen was pulling my arms out in front of me and up in the air trying to help me loosen up, and we got in the car to go to the shops.
“I started to feel really ill. It’s a feeling I would never wish on anybody. I was clammy and grey and I had this crushing feeling in my chest.
“We went to the walk in centre, and even with everything I was feeling, I was so focussed on my training that I went up the stairs, rather than the lift. Everything I did, the marathon was in the back of my mind.”
An ambulance was called, and Heather was admitted to Blackpool Victoria Hospital, where doctors confirmed she had suffered a heart attack.
She started to attend rehab at the Vic, but due to lockdown only attended three sessions. It was all she needed.
Heather said: “I wanted to get to where I was, and I decided to mark a year since the heart attack with a marathon here in Blackpool, ending at the hospice.
“What better way to close this chapter, and this awful year, than to complete what I set out to do.
“I’m nervous about the run. I’m frightened about my heart. But I am determined. I just hope it’s dry.”
Visit www.justgiving.com/heatherheart2021 to sponsor Heather and to find out more about Couch to 5k, and to sign up to the 10 week programme, visit www.trinityhospice.co.uk