Love runs in the family

Family man Chris Holdsworth was one of the fittest 56-year-olds you could ever hope to meet. From competing in ironman events to running ultra-marathons, Chris’s family and friends were constantly in awe of his athleticism.

But in September of last year, while visiting his son Carl in Bournemouth, everything suddenly changed.

Without warning, Chris collapsed with a heart attack while jogging along Bournemouth beach. Thanks to the quick intervention of wife Diane administering CPR, Chris was rushed to the Royal Bournemouth Hospital’s Emergency Department in a critical condition.

With his deeply concerned family by his side, Chris spent three weeks in a coma at the RBCH’s Intensive Therapy Unit (ITU), before being moved to Ward 22 for further care.

To the relief of everyone, Chris eventually came around but was ultimately diagnosed with heart disease, eventually being fitted with an ICD (Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator) back in his home county of Yorkshire.

Many would take life easier in the aftermath of such a close call, but after undergoing rehabilitation, Chris was determined to get his running shoes back on and give something back to the ITU and the RBCH staff who had helped to save his life.

That’s why the entire Holdsworth family decided to take part in the Bournemouth Marathon Festival in early October to raise money for Bournemouth Hospital Charity and the Intensive Therapy Unit.

Chris and daughter-in-law Kirrie both took on a 10K and completed Chris’s first running race since he was discharged from hospital. Chris’s son Carl ran the half marathon, while Chris’s wife Diane successfully completed her first full marathon for 20 years.

The remarkable story of Chris’s recovery has touched all who know him – with no one more impressed and proud of his achievement than his son Carl.

“Thinking from where we’ve come from a year ago to now, it’s incredible really,” says Carl. “That’s why we want to give something back to ITU.”

The Holdsworths have already raised £1,400 of their £2,000 target for the unit. You can still help them to reach their goal by visiting their JustGiving page.

Inspiring people like the Holdsworths are helping to support Bournemouth Hospital Charity’s vital efforts to provide new and improved equipment, enhancements and training to help make our hospitals even better for all of our patients, visitors and staff.

If you would like to become a supporter of Bournemouth Hospital Charity by donating, fundraising or volunteering, please get in touch by calling our Charity Office on 01202 704060 or email

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