Kieran putting his heart and sole into charity walk

Ray Laidlaw with the walker Kieran Sandwell at Harbour View restaurant in Seaton Sluice.
Ray Laidlaw with the walker Kieran Sandwell at Harbour View restaurant in Seaton Sluice.

A heart transplant patient has stepped out in North Tyneside as part of his challenge to raise £100,000.

Kieran Sandwell is taking part in a 5,000-mile trek around Britain in aid of the British Heart Foundation.

The 45-year-old, from Berkhamsted in Hertfordshore, was in North Tyneside on Tuesday as part of his mammoth trek.

He visited the Old Low Lights Heritage Centre on North Shields Fish Quay where a seasoned fisherman took him on a guided tour, before walking along the coastline to Seaton Sluice where he joined Lindisfarne member Ray Laidlaw for a fish and chips lunch.

Kieran’s challenge, called Trail of Two Hearts, is marking the end of his long battle with heart disease after having a heart transplant eight years ago.

Kieran said: “The inspiration for my challenge came to me around 25 years ago, but then I would never have been able to complete such an endurance challenge.

“It’s only thanks to my donor, the British Heart Foundation, the Brompton and Papworth Hospital and NHS Blood & Transplant that I am able to make my dream a reality.

“My second heart has enabled me to do so much.”

When Kieran was three-years-old when he had to have open-heart surgery. When he was 13, he suffered a heart attack and during his early 20s he also suffered two mini strokes. By the time he reached 35, he was in heart failure and he was put on the transplant list for a new heart.

Nikki Bell, British Heart Foundation area fund-raising manager for Northumberland and Tyne and Wear, said: “We never cease to be amazed by the incredible way our fund-raisers raise money for our research, but Kieran’s coastline challenge is one of the biggest we’ve ever seen.

“We are so incredibly grateful for his determination and dedication to supporting our work and we’ll be supporting him every step of the way!

“Every three minutes someone in the UK loses their life to heart and circulatory disease, which devastates the lives of those they leave behind.

“We urgently need more people to join our fight for every heartbeat and help fund our life saving research, so if Kieran has inspired you please do help power his steps and donate.”