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Sutterton woman to enter London Marathon in memory of her father

By Boston Target  |  Posted: February 09, 2013

  • LOVING MEMORIES: Keelie Cook and her partner Dan Gutteridge are to run the London Marathon in memory of her dad Les.

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A SUTTERTON woman who has described losing her dad to a heart condition as "the worst thing she has ever experienced" now plans to do something in his honour.

After years of being very ill with an enlarged heart and cardiomyopathy, disease of the heart muscle, Keelie Cook's dad, Les, 63, needed a heart transplant which he received in 2000 at Papworth.

He had a few years of good health before his new heart began to enlarge and reject. His health began to deteriorate slowly until September 2008 when he was hospitalised and died in October 2008.

Miss Cook said: "He was so ill that he was virtually bedridden. He was weak, had coughing fits, couldn't eat and was generally very, very ill. He was taken into Papworth Hospital where they cared for him until he passed away.

"While in hospital they discovered that in addition to his heart problems, he also had a massive blood clot on one of his lungs which had starved it of oxygen. His lung was infected and had pretty much died. There was nothing they could do to make him better.

"At this point my brave dad took the decision to stop all of his medication, and in the final week, he also refused food and water. He was in so much pain and felt so ill that he didn't want to prolong the inevitable."

Due to the heartache her dad's death caused, Miss Cook and her partner Dan Gutteridge have decided to enter the Virgin London Marathon in April to raise money for the Cardiomyopathy Association in his memory.

The couple have also had their entries confirmed for the Milton Keynes Half Marathon on March 10 as race preparation for the big day.

They are also planning a 40-mile cycle ride from Lincoln to Kirton, both for training purposes and to encourage people to sponsor them. They will be wearing their onesies.

She added: "Training is going well so far, despite suffering from an endless cycle of colds we are managing to get some longer runs in at the weekends.

"Only a couple of years ago I would not have even thought about running for the bus. We now run at least three times a week and I have lost more than seven stone in weight. I am sure my dad would have been proud of us. I know he is looking down on us.

"I am eternally grateful to Papworth Hospital where he had his transplant and spent his final days being looked after by their amazing staff and the Cardiomyopathy Association for their support."

Anyone who would like to make a donation or find out more can log on to uk.virginmoneygiving.com/KeelieandDan

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