Maria’s Stepping Out for Ed

Maria Ogbourne at Rowan House is no stranger to fundraising through walking. You may remember she was one of the WHC Ramblers team who took on the White Horse Challenge during last year’s hot weather. This year, she’s stepping out again, in support of the British Heart Foundation (BHF) this time…

I’m at it again …. off for a long walk.

Ed was a fit, rugby playing, 27 year-old when he had his cardiac arrest.  My husband and I attended Ed & Sophie’s (very emotional) wedding and I made the decision that I would raise money for BHF in Ed’s honour. I couldn’t do it last year as I had already signed up to do the Wiltshire Air Ambulance walk, so vowed this year I would walk the Ridgeway40, and raise money for the British Heart Foundation, a charity that will be supporting Ed for life.  Ed’s experience has shown that we never know what is just around life’s corner.  Any donation you can make, however small, will help towards keeping this vital charity there … for all of us.

On Saturday 10th May, I’ll be walking 40-miles of the Ridgeway from Overton Hill, Wiltshire to Goring Village Hall, Oxfordshire raising money for the British Heart Foundation in honour of Ed.  I’ll be walking with Nic Black who will be posting separately about her chosen charity.

Ed’s story, in his own words:

“On the 23rd April 2012, at 8 o’clock in the evening I suffered a cardiac arrest. To this day, no one is sure exactly why and tests are still continuing to find out the root cause of my arrhythmia. On that night, I was lucky enough to be sat in the front room of the house, with my then fiancé (now my wife!), who wondered why I was leaning against the sofa and making strange noises! After pushing me with no response, she pulled my head back and noticed how relaxed I was and then that my eyes were open. She immediately called 999, who instructed her to proceed with hands only CPR.

I came through this traumatic event as a result of the CPR, which ensured that my brain was supplied with oxygen, despite my heart having been stopped for 15 minutes. The effectiveness of this has since been highlighted nation-wide by the excellent BHF advert featuring Vinnie Jones. The fast response ambulance team arrived within 10 minutes of the call and after five minutes setting up, they shocked me back into life.

It wasn’t all plain sailing from there though. Having been sick in the ambulance, I then proceeded to breathe the sick into my lungs, which caused a lot of problems. I spent 8 days in an induced coma in Frenchay hospital, and a further 5 weeks recovering and being tested. The ward I resided in during my recovery was funded by the BHF.

As a result of everything that happened, I have been fitted with an ICD (Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator), which monitors my heart, paces when it needs to, but most importantly, sends that life saving shock if my heart decides it has had enough again!

Through all of this, the presence of the BHF has been there, sometimes very noticeably, other times quietly helping out. From funding the ward, to helping me find suitable travel insurance or offering a place to find support when I need it, it is always there, and for that I am extremely grateful. To show our appreciation, we bought BHF pin badges for each person who attended our wedding, as well as becoming regular readers of Heart Matters magazine.

As a result of having the ICD fit just under my left shoulder, I am no longer allowed to play contact sports (it might pull the wires out of my heart), so that means no rugby! However, that hasn’t stopped me enjoying cycling, walking or running amongst other sports. Thanks to a few extraordinary people and given that I am only 29, I still have my whole life ahead of me. Ed”

There are two ways to donate:

Maria’s JustGiving Page

… or By text

To: 70070; message RWAY67 £x – you can donate £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10 using this method.

Thank you in advance for your donation.  Please feel free to spread the word :)

About smithsnews

Communications Executive
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One Response to Maria’s Stepping Out for Ed

  1. Mark Cashmore, Chief Executive says:

    Good luck Maria and good to hear Ed’s own story – it really brings home how important the charities we support at Smiths News are and what a difference they make to people’s lives.

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