Monday 5th October 2015

​Sheffield-based heart valve patient, Mike Higginbottom, was guest of honour on Saturday at the Lancashire County Cricket Club Gala Dinner in Manchester, where the cricketing community made more than 170 pledges to Heart Valve Voice’s campaign.

High-profile pledgees including Lancashire coach and England legend, Ashley Giles, club captain, Tom Smith and the long-serving bowler, Glenn Chapple.

Mike, who sits on Heart Valve Voice’s faculty, gave the star-studded audience a moving account of his motivation for supporting the charity following a near-death experience when exercising in a gym. He had been feeling breathless and had visited his GP who prescribed antibiotics. In fact, a stethoscope check would have revealed his aortic stenosis, a heart valve condition which prevents blood flowing properly through the heart.

Mike collapsed while exercising on the cross-trainer. Fast-thinking staff brought him back to life using a defibrillator and Mike was rushed to hospital. He was soon diagnosed with aortic stenosis and he had his aortic valve replaced successfully. You can watch a video about Mike's case here.

“Five years on, I feel so much better than before and am living my life to the full,” Mike explained. “Now I want to raise awareness of the importance of GPs checking routinely for heart valve disease in the same way that they check for breast cancer and prostate cancer. For example, GPs have an ideal opportunity when over-65s visit them for their annual flu jab.”

The Gala Dinner was organized by the Lancashire County Cricket Club Foundation (LCCCF). Heart Valve Voice worked in partnership with LCCCF on a heart valve check-up initiative at the England v Australia one day international last month.