A Halifax man who survived a serious heart attack on Boxing Day in 2015 is celebrating his third Christmas since the terrifying ordeal, by raising money to support research into heart and circulatory disease.
Derek Hitchcock, 66, experienced chest pains on Boxing Day morning, and as the paramedics arrived he lost consciousness and went into cardiac arrest.
“The ambulance team arrived incredibly quickly,” said Derek. “I was very lucky. They gave me two shocks with a defibrillator and that brought me back around, but I was still very poorly.”
Derek and his partner Carol were staying with family in Shelf for Christmas.
“I couldn’t believe how quickly we got to the hospital – it was a pretty bumpy ride in the back of the ambulance. I remember looking up at Carol’s face: she looked very pale and scared; I think she was probably more worried than I was.
“When we arrived I went into theatre and had an angioplasty, and they put two stents in. I was then admitted to intensive care, and I stayed in hospital for four days.
“I remember being in bed and looking out of the window across to the hospital chimney tops. I even took a photograph of that view. I really thought it might be the last I’d ever see.
“I know from looking at statistics on out of hospital cardiac arrests that I am very fortunate to still be around today. That’s why since recovering; I’ve wanted to give something back by raising money for the BHF.”
Derek trained in Leeds as a photographer, and worked for several years taking photographs for advertising.
“I’ve never lost my love of photography, so I thought an interesting way to help raise the money would be to host a charity photography competition.”
Jodie Shepherd, British Heart Foundation Area Fundraising Manager said: “We are really pleased that Derek is doing so well and it’s great that he is using his love of photography to raise funds for our life saving research.”
Derek is currently looking for a venue to exhibit the entries for the competition. Anyone who can support the event can contact Jodie Shepherd on 07741640174.