Sunday, June 23, 2024
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Linford woman walks marathon in memory of brother

A WOMAN from Linford, Essex walked the distance of a marathon to raise funds for national charity, Heart Research UK’s work into aortic dissecion after the tragic death of her brother last June, aged 44.

Victoria Renoldi-King, aged 38, walked 26 miles on 26 November (2015) in memory of Julian – the day that would have marked his 46th birthday. Having already raised over £1,400, Victoria aims to help fund Heart Research UK’s aortic dissection Masterclass, costing £25,000.

Julian Renoldi was admitted to hospital on 8 June following chest pains, where tests revealed that he had suffered an aortic dissection – a condition where the main artery to the heart ruptures. After 18 hours of emergency surgery to repair the rupture, Julian was unable to be resuscitated.

Julian’s family and friends were shocked and heartbroken by the news and are still struggling with the loss of Julian, including his three children, Millie, 15, Luca, 14, and Jude, 12, and his partner, at the time of his death, Maxine.

Victoria began walking to help her deal with her grief, visiting places where she and her brother had walked and played as children. Inspired by this, she took on the meaningful challenge to raise funds for Heart Research UK’s work into the rare heart condition.

Starting at her home in Linford, Victoria walked a route along the Essex coastline, meeting with friends and family along the way. She walked the last eight miles with Maxine, finishing at Julian’s grave where the pair lit candles and shared a special moment remembering Julian.

She completed the challenge in under eight hours with the support of her husband, children, family and friends who later met with Victoria at her father’s pub, The Railway Tavern in Stanford-le-Hope after she had completed the marathon.

Victoria, a supply teacher based in Thurrock said: “Although I felt nervous for the challenge, I was also determined as I felt that my brother would be by my side in spirit. Julian had a massive heart and was an amazing character. He would feel honoured that people have been kind enough to donate.

“I want to raise awareness of aortic dissection so that patients are correctly diagnosed upon arrival at A&E and I hope that my fundraising will provide surgeons and hospital staff with the training they need for treating aortic dissection.”

Heart Research UK currently funds a Fellowship in aortic surgery at Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital for 12 months. The charity has also previously run a Masterclass in aortic arch surgery in 2014 and following the success of this, another one took place last weekend (27-28 November).

Masterclasses provide a unique opportunity for cardiac surgeons all over the UK to gain new skills, knowledge and hands-on experience of the latest techniques from leading experts in the field that they can then use in their own hospitals across the country.

Heart Research UK has also set up an aortic dissection fundraising support group for anyone who has been affected by aortic dissection and would like to help fund a further Masterclass.

If you would like to join the support group, please go to: https://www.facebook.com/aorticdissectionHRUK/?ref=hl

If you would like to make a donation, please go to: https://www.justgiving.com/Victoria-Renoldi2/

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