|Steve had a Ventricular tachycardia (VT) – a fast heart rate arising from the lower chambers of the heart – and was put immediately on heart medication. It was the start of a journey of hospital visits, medications, and different technologies to keep his heart in shape as the years progressed. In 1999, he was fitted with his first defib and was able to go on his first holiday in 10 years, but when he reached 2004, the doctors gave him the news that it was no longer just one side of his heart that wasn’t working. Both sides were now struggling.
The next six years were spent being close to his wife, including assisting her in her work. As time went on, Steve really started to struggle. In 2010, doctors put him on the transplant list for a new heart.
“I got my first phone call for a heart in April 2010, but that heart went to someone else. I got another call in September of the same year, but tests on that heart showed that it couldn’t be donated after all. When we reached October, I told my wife that I may as well give up. I felt like I’d never get the heart I needed and realistically, thought I wouldn’t make it to Christmas. Then, at 1.10am on Tuesday the 10th of November, I got my call. When I asked the doctor how many others were in line for this heart, he answered, just you Steve. I couldn’t believe it,” he said.
Steve’s surgery was successful, and, by Christmas, he was home with his wife and his new heart. After two years of rehab, Steve was back in the saddle. Since then, he has raced in nine cycling events internationally, and won! He is currently European Road Race Champion in his age category at the European Transplant Games.