Matthew Cornick, special friend and longtime supporter set himself the challenge to walk 122.2 miles during lockdown for Wessex Heartbeat. This fundraising idea would raise vital money and awareness for the charity which took care of him during 10 open-heart surgeries and numerous other procedures.

The chosen distance holds a particular significance, as it is the exact mileage from his home to Wessex Heartbeat’s Heartbeat House, the 25-bedroom home-from-home which serves the families of those undergoing treatment at Southampton’s Cardiac Centre.

“I set myself this challenge as a way to give thanks to Wessex Heartbeat. My family has stayed at Heartbeat House on numerous occasions while I have had my surgeries and it served as a lifeline for us all."

Matthew was born with Aortic Stenosis which eventually led to him needing replacement Aortic and Mitral valves. Asnd a result of complications during surgery he is now fully pace dependant and has a pacemaker fitted.

"Knowing that there are so many families in the same situation as mine, I thought what better way to spend lockdown than to raise money for this important charity.”

Fortunately, Matthew has now been stable for over ten years and the replacement valves and repairs are all doing well meaning that Matthew can lead a more normal life.

Inspired by Matthew’s incredible story, Wessex Heartbeat is calling on the people of Dorset to take part in their very own “Walk to Heart Health” fundraiser.

John Munro, chief executive of Wessex Heartbeat, said: “We are always honoured to see our very own cardiac patients coming up with new ways to raise money for the charity and we couldn’t be more proud of Matthew.

“Not only is this a fantastic way to raise money for the charity but is a fantastic low-impact cardiac exercise which will help keep your heart healthy.”

Matthew's story is one that inspires the team at Wessex Heartbeat, and of course other people suffering with cardiac problems. You can read about Matthew's story and support his fundraiser here.

Alternatively, why not make your own attempt at walking from your house to Heartbeat House! All you need to do is calculate the distance between your home and Heartbeat House and then set that as your walking target over how ever long you want. You can even set up your own fundraiser here.

“To take part in the Walk to Heart Health fundraiser we are asking Dorset residents to walk the distance it would take between their home and Heartbeat House over the next few weeks."