Last September 33-year old Nottingham barber Chay Fiddes was was cutting a client’s hair at the barbers where he works when he suddenly felt very hot, his legs went wobbly and his heart rate went through the roof.
Chay had experienced anything like this, so he decided to to finish off the haircut before heading to his nearest NHS walk-in centre. Within three minutes of arriving he was in an ambulance.
Chay spent six hours in A&E, where they he was given medication to try and bring his heart rate down. But when that didn’t work they had to regulate his heart rhythm using cardioversion, a treatment which sends controlled electric signals to your heart through electrodes placed on the chest.
It was discovered that Chay had Atrial Fibrillation (AF), a heart condition that causes an irregular and often abnormally fast heart rate, which if left untreated is a major cause of stroke.
“It just a normal day and the last thing I expected when I woke up that morning was that I would be in A&E getting my heart shocked back into its normal rhythm,” recalls Chay. “When I first started feeling unwell, I wasn’t sure what it was or how serious it was but when I was rushed to hospital it was really scary.”
“My heart and health have been fine since then, but I have had a couple of panic attacks which I think is linked to what happened that day”, he explains. Despite this scare, Chay is now determined to complete the British Heart Foundation’s Manchester to Blackpool Night Ride on October the 6th.
“I like cycling and an advert for the British Heart Foundation’s Manchester to Blackpool Night Ride actually popped up on Facebook whilst I was sat in the waiting room in the hospital waiting to be discharged that day. I saw it and signed up to take part.”
Last year, the Manchester to Blackpool Night Ride – which this year starts at midnight on 6th October from Old Trafford Cricket Club in Manchester – raised £110,000 which will go towards helping to better understand how to prevent, diagnose and treat heart and circulatory diseases and beat heartbreak forever.
If you’re interested in taking part in this year’s event, visit www.bhf.org.uk/M2B for more information or to sign up. If you would like to support Chay’s fundraising, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/chayfiddes and donate to the British Heart Foundation.