Tuesday 30th May 2017
Heart Valve Voice cycle team member Pat Khan takes a moment to reflect on the completed cycle ride.
I can’t believe that one day I was buying a bicycle and a helmet planning on going on regular, easy cycle rides around Anderton, my village in Lancashire, to cycling (and getting a bit lost) around the UK and France with an amazing group of people. All thanks to Heart Valve Voice CEO Wil Woan asking me the simple question: “Fancy a few days cycling in France?”
To say it was a surreal experience would be an understatement. It was a wonderful adventure filled with laughs and memories I will never forget. It started with a Cycle past Big Ben behind a group of ten specialist surgeons, clinicians and nurses at the start of their 250-mile road trip to Paris. Note the word ‘behind’ as I was sure to not push myself and kept at my own pace. Luckily the team members were so supportive and I was never left on my own - which was especially useful when we got a little off track on the first day. Thankfully our intrepid leader Adrian guided us over the mother of all hills and through fields and trails until we saw our destination in the distance.
After that wonderful little adventure, I took every opportunity I could to cycle at my own pace, and i was gifted with my fellow teammate Ishtiaq's kind company (and helping hand). The roads onward from Dieppe were sublime, with a river running alongside and a cycle path through forest glades. It has been a rare privilege to spend three days with such skilled and dedicated specialists in heart valve disease. I’ve seen them not in there usual “scrubs” but in lycra, Heart Valve Voice cycle shirts and helmets and they’ve given to each gruelling mile the same commitment, passion and fortitude that they give to helping their patients.
These are exceptional people and it has been a huge honour to become acquainted with them. We have worked together to help raise awareness of this disease that they can treat so easily, if it is detected in time, as mine was.