Trevor Smith from Castleton, North Yorkshire, wanted to do something amazing to thank the caring staff on cardiology wards 30 and 31 at The James Cook University Hospital who looked after him when he had major heart surgery.
Trevor – who has always lived a healthy and active lifestyle – had quadruple coronary artery bypass heart surgery 12 months ago. This came as quite a shock to him and it was frightening to say the least to be told he needed such a serious operation which had a ‘one in 70’ chance of survival.
Intrepid Trevor completed his first ever triathlon in the 13,000 acre grounds of Castle Howard in July – almost a year since his surgery – an amazing feat in four hours and 15 minutes raising a fantastic £5,403.34 for the wards.
He wanted to give something back and to thank the surgeon, nursing staff and hospital team who looked after him during his surgery and the amazing care and help he received on the road to recovery.
Trevor started the race by swimming through Castle Howard’s Great Lake before transitioning into the technical bike route through the glorious rural idyll of Yorkshire and the Howardian Hills. The spectacular run leg passed through the undulating countryside of the estate before the sprint finish topped everything off in style right in front of the main doors of the house.
The gruelling event involved a 1.5km (0.93mile) swim, 40km (25 miles) bike ride, and a 10km (6.2miles) run.
Trevor, who couldn’t swim eight weeks before the event practiced in a lake for four days so he could complete the triathlon, said the swim was the worst bit for him.
He said: “From the minute I was admitted, I received outstanding care. I could not have asked for anything better. Every single member of staff on wards 30 and 31 had a smile on their face, a pleasant, caring, positive and helpful attitude towards all of their patients, including myself.
“I would never have believed I would take part in a triathlon 12 months ago! I did it to say thank you to all the dedicated staff who work tirelessly on the wards and to hopefully inspire people as to what you can still achieve after such a massive operation. “