A BRAVE Burnley father who was suffering heart failure two years ago has battled his way back to fitness ready for the run of his life.
Former soldier Pierre Dale (38) could barely walk before doctors gave him the crushing diagnosis two years ago.
But the ex-infantryman vowed to overcome the debilitating condition and took up running with Healthy Lifestyles.
Now he has lost around 9st and is gearing up to take on the Pennine Lancashire 10k run in Burnley on June 2nd.
Pierre, who works at Unison, is looking forward to his first race but said he has been through hell with his condition.
He said: “Everybody has heard of heart attacks, well heart failure is the next stage on from that.
“There is no cure for it. It is really debilitating.
“I knew I was not well. I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t breathe and I felt as though I was drowning because my lungs were full of water.
“When the doctors told me my jaw dropped because my dad had heart failure. At first I couldn’t walk 2ft.
“The fact that jumps out at you is that 40% of people diagnosed with heart failure can pass away in the first 12 months. It is really scary.”
After his shock diagnosis at just 37 years old he was determined to change his life and get fitter.
“A healthy lifestyle, eating properly and exercising is something I really took on board because I wanted to live longer and it is something I can control. The better I felt the more I started exercising and doing fitness and changing my lifestyle. I feel as fit as I have done in years. I’ve lost a lot of weight – 9st.
“I have been getting fitter and fitter and so I thought I could do something for charity and prove something to myself.”
Pierre is now taking on the Pennine Lancashire 10k run to raise money and awareness for local heart failure group Pumping Marvellous. The pioneering organisation was set up by Hapton heart failure patient Nick Hartshorne-Evans which offers support and care of a non-clinical nature after initial diagnosis for patients in East Lancashire.
Pierre will be joined at the race by Beth Baron, of Healthy Lifestyles, which has also helped him through his rehabilitation.
She said: “He has done very well and it has changed his life.
“He was taken into hospital and virtually at death’s door to now on the way to doing a 10km run.
“He has changed everything from diet and exercise and he is using the St Peter’s Centre regularly.
“It is a great story.”
You can sponsor the pair’s inspiring charity bid at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/bethandpierre.
To sign up for the Jane Tomlinson Pennine Lancashire 10k just visit the For All Events website.