Family celebrate grandfather’s life-saving surgery with 5k run for charity

Ellie and Ray Arnold with son Paul, his wife, Laura, and daughters Hollie, Josie and Beth

Ellie and Ray Arnold with son Paul, his wife, Laura, and daughters Hollie, Josie and Beth - Credit: Alan Bennett / Media Imaging Sol

A family has completed a 5K charity run just 11 weeks after a relative had life-saving heart surgery.

The Arnold family, from Southery, near Littleport, completed the Heart Research UK Family 5K event, at Milton Country Park, just a few months after 63-year-old grandfather Ray had a double heart bypass operation at Papworth Hospital.

Ray’s wife, Ellie, said the whole family decided to take part in the event because they wanted to raise awareness of heart disease as well as the advances in medicine that led to Ray having a successful operation.

She said: “I am speechless as to how great Papworth Hospital is and the fantastic advances that allow you to scan the heart in so much detail.

“It is all helping to raise awareness of heart disease and knowing the symptoms, as well as getting more people to exercise and be active.”


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The Arnold family were out in force at the event, also backed by fast food chain Subway, with Ellie, son Paul, 42, and his wife Laura, and grandchildren Beth, six, and twins Hollie and Josie, 12, all completing the event.

Ray, who set up Fenland Garage Doors more than 30 years ago, was cheering them on from the sidelines.

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Ray’s health problems began several years ago when he started having pains in his hip which he initially brushed off.

It was only when the pain caused him to collapse at home that doctors discovered he had blocked arteries in his leg and his heart had been damaged from a heart attack.

Surgery was carried out on his leg last year, and, earlier this year, he had a double heart bypass operation at Papworth. Ellie says that although Ray still has to take things steady, the heart operation has given him a new lease of life.

Ray’s recovery in health has allowed her to recommence her own exercise schedule, with the 5K event being her first for over a year.

Now Ellie is planning to take part in Heart Research UK’s Three Peaks and Valleys Challenge June 21 in the Yorkshire Dales where she wants to raise more money for the kind of research that helped save Ray’s life.

Anyone wishing to take part in the Three Peaks and Valleys Challenge can sign up at: http://heartresearch.org.uk/events/yorkshire-three-peaks-valleys

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