Published: Thursday, August 27th, 2015
Patients get on their bikes for transplant team
Two heart transplant patients from the Golden Jubilee National Hospital cycled more than 70 miles to raise money for the unit that saved their lives.
David Todd and Silvio Garcia – who were transplanted within a month of each other – cycled from Glenrothes to the Clydebank hospital, covering the 72 mile route over the course of two days.
David was in the final stages of completing health and fitness checks to join the army when he was diagnosed with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, a condition where the heart muscle thickens, making it harder for the heart to pump blood.
David was treated for several years by cardiologists, having an Implantable Defibrillator (ID) and treated for a transient ischemic attack (TIA) or “mini stroke”. When his condition deteriorated, David was told he would need a heart transplant. Just weeks after being assessed by the Golden Jubilee, David collapsed and received more than 15 shocks from his ID.
David said: “I was transferred to the Golden Jubilee, and had to have a Left Ventricular Assist Device (also known as a mechanical heart) which took over for the left side of my heart. Without this, I would have died as my heart had rapidly deteriorated and wasn’t able to function on its own. I was on this for two and a half months before getting a transplant.”
After being discharged from the Golden Jubilee in April, David went from struggling to walk to the shops, to cycling 20 miles to the Falkirk Wheel.
While being treated at the Golden Jubilee, David met fellow patient Sylvio.
After suffering a massive heart attack and losing consciousness in 2010, Sylvio was rushed to Ninewells Hospital before being transferred to the Golden Jubilee. He was placed on a balloon pump before being fitted with two Ventricular Assist Devices. After several months, he was fitted with an internal LVAD, which he was on for three and a half years before being transplanted.
The pair became fast friends and David invited Sylvio to join him on a charity bike ride from Glenrothes to Clydebank to raise funds for a new bed bike for the hospital’s Rehab Department.
They set off from Glenrothes on Saturday 25 July, cycling more than 72 miles from Glenrothes, finishing at the Golden Jubilee the next day.
David said: “I wanted to prove to everyone that anything is possible and show all my friends currently waiting on a transplant that if I can do it, anyone can. I also wanted to show my appreciation to the donor family: I can never express my appreciation to them in words, and was determined not to let them down.
“All the money we have raised is going towards providing a new Bed Bike for the Rehabilitation Department at the hospital: this would be a fantastic piece of equipment which would make a real difference to patient’s recovery and help people get back to living happy, healthy lifestyles quicker than ever before.
“I can’t thank everyone at the Golden Jubilee for everything they have done for me, and want to encourage as many people as possible to please donate and help support the life saving work they do every day.”
Pictured above (left to right): Pete Todd, "Gogs" (David's Brother In-Law), David Todd, Silvio Garcia, Joan Todd (David's Mum) and Jeff (David's friend).