Heart transplant

Ex-Yate soldier to run London Marathon after heart transplant

AN EX-Yate soldier, who defied the odds to undergo a life-saving heart transplant, is set to run the London Marathon as he continues his quest to raise awareness and funds for those suffering from ailments cardiac.

Phillip Hardwell is set to complete the 26.2 mile distance just two years after receiving his transplant after suffering heart failure during the November 2019 transplant.

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.

His surgeon at Papworth Hospital said the veteran should have died multiple times.

Father-of-two Phillip said he had planned his own remarkable recovery, starting with walking just five minutes a day, after the lockdown left him unable to attend routine physiotherapy appointments .

Using his “commando mind,” Phillip built up his running distance after initially being able to run 100 yards.

He said: “At one point I couldn’t even stand up unaided, couldn’t climb stairs and had to sleep sitting up so my lungs wouldn’t fill with fluid.

“I built my stamina little by little, I started at just 100 meters and now I will run over 26 miles, but my donor is my motivation and I will cross the line.

“My goal is to raise awareness of circulatory disease and invest as much money as possible in research because I wouldn’t want anyone to go through what I did.”

Phillip, who recently published a book about his life – ‘Hearts of Resilience’, said he had had his fair share of struggles but was completely grateful for the ‘gift’ of his transplant and that the marathon London won’t be his last big challenge.

He added: “I am totally grateful for my life.

“I can now live much longer and watch my children grow into adults.”

“My ten-year goal is to compete in an Iron Man competition, which is a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride, and then a marathon — a few transplant Americans have done it — so what’s stopping me?”

To donate to Phillip’s fundraiser, go to justgiving.com/fundraising/phillip-hardwell1.