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Ian's Swim for his family

Updated: Oct 19, 2021

When 57 year old Ian Parkin’s aunt started to research their family tree she had no idea that it would bring to light the family’s history of heart disease as well.

She noticed that several members had passed away because of an aortic aneurysm (where an abnormal bulge occurs in the wall of the aorta with the risk of a tear or rupture which disrupts the blood flow to the heart) and this together with Ian’s mums’ experiencing her own problems with the same disease she realised how important it was the family learn of her discovery.

Following a consultation with the family GP it was recommended that the whole family be tested and it was here at LHCH that it was discovered that Ian, and his son also had the same condition. Now Ian has to visit every two years and luckily the aneurysm has not grown but his son still has to come in every 12 months.

Ian says: “It was quite a shock to learn that three generations of the family were experiencing the same heart problems but luckily we had LHCH to help us monitor our conditions and while we come in for regular testing at least we had not yet had to undergo surgery.” He goes on: “We were also very pleased to be able to assist the researchers at LHCH who were looking at genetic testing to try and identify why certain families are prone to this condition. Taking part in research like this can only help benefit generations to come, helping eventually to eradicate a condition that can cause untold loss and grief in other families.”

By a strange coincidence another member of Ian’s family was also treated here. His Father-in-Law was treated at LHCH for a triple bypass 18 years ago. It was his recent passing and the desire to help the hospital who are caring for his whole family that prompted Ian to undertake his own challenge – by taking part in the “Coniston End to End Swim” on 4th September. He took to the open water of Coniston for a 5.25 mile swim while raising funds for LHCH Charity. Ian says: “ We had an extra 18 years with my Father in Law thanks to the expertise of the staff at LHCH and that, together with everything else they are doing for us, made me want to do something in order to say thank you”.

We can’t thank Ian enough for all his amazing efforts and for raising an incredible £1,300 - we really appreciate it!


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