Heart transplant

Ex-soldier runs London Marathon two years after heart transplant

AN EX-Yate soldier, who defied all odds to have a life-saving heart transplant, ran the London Marathon just two years after receiving his new heart.

Phillip Hardwell completed the 26.2 mile distance in 6 hours and 15 minutes and said the race was the experience of a lifetime.

The former soldier spent five months in intensive care fighting for his life after discovering arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy, a form of heart disease following routine surgery on his biceps, he suffered heart failure in November 2019 and his surgeon at Papworth Hospital said the veteran should have died multiple times.

Phillip, a father of two, entered the marathon to ‘give something back and help others’ who have been affected by heart and circulatory conditions.

The inspiring veteran ran in memory of my donor and said he wanted to inspire others about what is possible after an organ transplant.

He said: “When I got to the start line I was generally quite relaxed, as I ran I tried to take in the scenery and remember the reasons why I was doing it.”

Phillip planned his own remarkable recovery, starting with walking for just five minutes a day, before moving on to running.

He added: “The crowds were absolutely amazing and helped through at times. My ears were still ringing that night.

“When I was done I could barely walk to get my bags, but it was such an amazing experience!

“We should all love ourselves and not depend on anyone else, but I think modern society has made us afraid of being alone or sitting in silence with our own thoughts.

“We are only human and can make what we perceive to be the best decision available at that moment.

“The last six months of training have really been a journey of self-discovery for me. My past, the decisions I’ve made and the traumas I’ve been through will always be a part of me.

“Learning to accept myself and take responsibility for my actions allowed me to be more compassionate and to start knowing and loving myself more.

“Anyone can achieve their goals, and it proved that if I can do it, then anyone can.”

To donate, go to justgiving.com/fundraising/phillip-hardwell1