Oh brother! Jamie’s heart charity trek

Heart man'Joe Tanner who was born with a congenital heart condition and had three cardiac arrests last year.'Picture by Neil Silk 121142a'15/03/12
Heart man'Joe Tanner who was born with a congenital heart condition and had three cardiac arrests last year.'Picture by Neil Silk 121142a'15/03/12

THE BROTHER of a Bridlington man who suffered three cardiac arrests and went without oxygen for nearly ten minutes is to trek to Everest to raise money for a heart charity.

Jamie Tanner, 25, is hoping people in Bridlington will help him to raise funds for the British Heart Foundation as he treks to Everest base camp, which is more than 5,600m high.

Heart man'Joe Tanner,right, with his brother Jamie.Jamie is climbing to Everest base camp next year to raise money for the British Heart Foundation.'Picture by Neil Silk  121142b'15/03/12

Heart man'Joe Tanner,right, with his brother Jamie.Jamie is climbing to Everest base camp next year to raise money for the British Heart Foundation.'Picture by Neil Silk 121142b'15/03/12

His brother Joe, 21, was born with a congenital heart condition. On August 29 last year, just weeks after having a minor operation, he suffered a heart attack which led to three cardiac arrests. It took paramedics 30 minutes to revive and stabilise him using a defibrillator.

“They said I was without oxygen for 5-10 minutes, professionals say five minutes without oxygen to the brain will leave you with memory problems and up to eight minutes will lead to non-reversible, severe brain damage,” said Joe, of Edwardian Drive.

He was then induced into a coma once he was stable and stayed in Scarborough Hospital for days being cooled with ice. Doctors had told his family to expect the worst, and that there was a high chance of brain damage.

“When the time came the doctors brought me round, it was a scary time for my family as my heart rate began racing, then plummeted, then started racing again.

“I opened my eyes and my mum asked me, ‘do you know who I am?’ and I said ‘of course I know who you are’.”

Joe was then transferred to Leeds General Infirmary, and fitted with a shockable pacemaker to protect him from further cardiac arrests.

“Once I got out of hospital, I was larger than life that was until my device shocked me, it was the most uncomfortable thing I had ever felt. I thought this is it, I am going to die,” continued Joe, who had worked as a plumber before his heart attack.

“Soon after, the device shocked me a further three times and I was taken back into hospital. Doctors gave me the good news that the device was giving me inappropriate shocks. My heart was fine, but it had an abnormal beat and the pacemaker was set too sensitive.”

As well as working full time as a plumber, former Hilderthorpe School and Headlands pupil Joe enjoyed riding motorbikes but has said his heart problems had left him “suffering mentally with paranoia and scared to do anything that may stress the heart.”

But with a baby on the way in July with his girlfriend Angela, 26, Joe is looking forward and is excited about his brother’s challenge.

“I feel like I’m getting better every day,” he continued. “I didn’t have any problems before last year and I was always fit and active, I just want to get out and about again and have something to focus on.

“I think what Jamie is doing is amazing, I would love to have a go at it and I want to help him with his fundraising as much as I can.”

Jamie’s challenge is set to take place next March, but before that he has to raise at least £4,000 for charity.

“After seeing what happened to Joe and how serious heart problems are, I really wanted to do something to help out the charity,” said former Hilderthorpe School and Woldgate College pupil Jamie.

“I need to raise £4,000 to be allowed on the trek, but obviously I want to try and raise a lot more.”

While Jamie is looking for fundraising help, he also needs to find kit and equipment to help him on his trek.

“I need to start training for the trip, I have never really climbed much at all and I don’t think I’ve been camping for about ten years,” continued Jamie.

“I’m looking forward to it but with trepidation. Acclimatisation is going to be difficult but it should be good and of course it’s for a good cause.”

Jamie, who was also involved in fundraising efforts for the family rooms at Scarborough Hospital and Leeds General Infirmary immediately after Joe’s treatment, has set up a page at justgiving.com/jaytanner for people to donate. He can also be followed on Twitter @jaytanner for updates, or to offer to help him prepare for his trip.