A FAMILY who lost their beloved husband and father to a second heart attack in April, are motivated by their loss to ride their bikes in the Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge.
The Nicolaou family of Karen and children Jake and Paige were devastated to lose husband and father Steven in April to a massive heart attack. Steven was 47 years old.
“We lived in Cooktown when he died and we had often seen the Cardiac Challenge riders come into town so we just thought now was the time to do it,” Mrs Nicolaou said.
“To be honest it’s probably diverted my attention a bit from losing Steven, but it’s a healthy positive thing to do and we’re making a difference,” she said.
Sadly, Steven’s family has been plagued with heart issues – his brother had a quadruple bypass at age 39, his eldest brother had a heart attack in the same week and their father had six bypasses and their sister also has a heart condition.
On the day Steven died, he woke with back and shoulder pain that just did not settle, he had a shower, a massage and finally asked for an ambulance.
Despite valiant attempts to keep him alive, Steven died at the Cooktown Hospital.
“The positive thing is that the children in the family are now being tested for heart issues, and we’re taking part in this bike ride to make a difference,” Mrs Nicolaou said.
Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation CEO Tony Franz said there were many stories of participants whose lives had been touched by heart conditions.
“Unfortunately we see it so much, but it’s really a big reason why people take part – they’re motivated because they want to make a difference,” Mr Franz said.
“United together everyone who takes part makes a massive difference to health outcomes in the Far North.”
Registrations for the 11th Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge close on July 31.
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