King’s Lynn man running in memory of brother lost to heart disease
- Credit: Archant
A Norfolk man is running his second brighton marathon in memory of his brother who suffered a heart attack and died in front of him.
Steve Rice, 43, will be pounding the streets of the south coast city in memory of his brother Mike, who died suddenly from an undiagnosed heart condition when he was aged just 34.
After losing his mum at a young age, a few years ago heart disease changed Mr Rice's life forever. In September 2012 his dad James (Jim) suffered a life-changing stroke at work, which left him unable to speak or walk. Then nine months later, in July 2013, his only brother Mike collapsed and died whilst they were playing badminton together.
'It really was a year from hell,' said Mr Rice. 'Mike and I were always close growing up and we did a lot of sport together. Dad's life was changed forever after his stroke, and that was so upsetting for both of us. It really knocked me, so Mike suggested we start playing badminton together so he could keep an eye on me. About three months later Mike collapsed mid-game.
'It took me a few moments to realise something was seriously wrong and I called for help. It broke my heart. I couldn't believe what had just happened before my very eyes. The doctors said his condition was like a ticking time bomb.' Mr Rice performed CPR on his brother for 20 minutes, before paramedics took over for a further 50 minutes. A post-mortem revealed his death was caused by a heart condition he did not know he was living with.
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Since his brother's death, Mr Rice has organised annual football matches with friends that he and Mike played with as children and has raised around £4,500 for the BHF.
'I was consumed by grief after Mike died, so I barely did any training when I ran my first Brighton Marathon,' he said. 'This time I'm doing it for the BHF, with my cousin by my side. If I can help just one person to get tested for a hidden heart condition then what happened would all be worth something.'
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The route itself winds through the city streets, finishing up on the spectacular Brighton seafront.
General entries for the 2017 event are now closed, but places are still available to join the BHF's team of Heart Runners. The heart charity is calling for people to sign up now at bhf.org.uk/get-involved/events/runs/brighton-marathon.