It was a normal Sunday evening with my parents. Just sitting on the sofa having family time. We were joking around when Dad suddenly collapsed. He died on Valentine’s Day when I was just 13. We found out later that he had an undiagnosed heart condition. I was very close to Dad. I was very much a daddy’s girl. It was 22 years ago, but sometimes it feels like it was yesterday.
I am now a mum of four. After my youngest was born they picked up that I had a problem with one of the valves in my heart. My health went downhill rapidly. I was so tired and some days I couldn’t get out of bed. I was told that I needed open heart surgery to repair the valve. I was terrified because of what had happened to Dad.
After my operation I decided to start fundraising for the British Heart Foundation because we need to beat heart disease. I thought, ‘what can I do?’ I own a tea room, and so for Wear it. Beat it, I organised a coffee and cake day there. We had a raffle, competitions and lots of games. We were overwhelmed by the amount of people that came. Some people that walked through the door knew my story; others wanted to share theirs. We ended up raising nearly £500.
This year I want to do something bigger and better. I want it to be as red and mad as possible.