Mayor of Scarborough puts his heart into the role - how you can find out more this Friday

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Scarborough Borough Mayor Joe Plant is putting his heart into the role - he will be part of a British Heart Foundation meet and greet session in the town this Friday.

The charity is inviting people to learn more about its work and about opportunities to get involved with the charity, at the event, which is taking place from 11.30am to 1.30pm at the BHF furniture and electrical store on Aberdeen Walk.

Cllr Plant is an ardent supporter of the BHF, is himself a heart patient, having been diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in 2008.

The condition causes the heart muscle to become stretched and thin, and unable to efficiently pump blood around the body.

Cllr Plant said: “I remember the day I was diagnosed as though it was yesterday.

“Although I’d been feeling a little breathless in the few days beforehand, I hadn’t though it was anything serious.

“Then, I was working as usual and I started to feel quite unwell.

“I called my wife and she took me straight to hospital.

“Initially, they thought it was asthma as it runs in my family.

“I stayed in a few days whilst they did some tests and then they sent me home, as they thought I would recover more quickly there.

“Over the course of the week, my wife noticed me getting worse.

“She took me to the GP surgery, where they decided to do an ECG. I was not prepared for what happened next.

“The doctor called for an ambulance, and I was blue-lighted to hospital. It was absolutely terrifying – I was actually in tears.”

Eventually, Cllr Plant was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy, which he said changed his forever.

“I was one of the first patients in my area to have a BHF nurse,” he said.

“These nurses are so valuable; my family and I would not have got through this challenging time without Sharon.

“Additionally, I cannot thank the heart consultants, doctors and nurses in Scarborough Hospital, James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough, Whitby Hospital and my local GP surgery enough for their tremendous, continuous care throughout this time.

“I want to use the event on Friday to meet local people and answer any questions they have about me, my role as Mayor or the Healthy Hearts campaign.”

BHF Fundraising Manager Jane Horsnell said: “We are thrilled that Councillor Plant is using his position to promote the work of the BHF, and to help raise awareness and vital funds to support our research into heart and circulatory conditions.

“There are lots of ways the people of Scarborough can get involved with the BHF: from shopping at our charity shops or signing up for a fundraising event, to starting your own BHF supporters group.”