Paul called to say he was having a heart attack... when I got back through paramedics answered
A year after a man died during a charity cycle ride his colleagues are getting on their bikes to ride the same 185-mile route in his memory.
Paul Morgan suffered a heart attack about ten miles into the fundraising ride for Sport Relief on March 23 last year.
Paramedics and doctors were unable to save the 44-year-old, who had an undiagnosed heart condition.
But on Friday ten cyclists will start the same route from Midsomer Norton to complete the two-day charity cycle ride in his honour.
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Money raised through the challenge will go to Comic Relief.
Mr Morgan worked in facilities management for Arcus, a firm that works with Sainsbury’s and was taking part in the cycle ride with people from the supermarket.
He had just left the Bath Sainsbury’s store – the third supermarket on the route to Street – when he called his partner Laura Summers and told her he thought he was having a heart attack.
Mr Morgan called for an ambulance and told his partner of two years that he would call her back but by the time she got through to his phone again it was the paramedics who answered as they were preparing to take him to hospital.
Mr Morgan had been in the Army until about four years ago and had taken part in marathons and sporting events in his time in the military.
“He wasn’t particularly unhealthy, didn’t have high cholesterol or blood pressure or anything that would have come up, but there was an undiagnosed heart condition there.
“One of his arteries was 80 per cent blocked with plaque and anything energetic would have caused a heart attack. It could have been on a run or at any time.
“Maybe if we had been more aware... the big thing is family history. There is a history of people in his family having a heart condition but you just don’t think about it.
“Paul didn’t drink or smoke. He didn’t do any of the things you would expect in someone who suffers a heart attack.”
Ms Summers, 32, lived with Mr Morgan in a cottage in Sand Bay and the couple were planning for their lives together.
She said: “This is not only going to be a real physical challenge but for those riding it is going to be so much more. They are doing it for Paul, to finish it for him really.
“I don’t think emotionally I could do that, so hats off to them.”
Ms Summers, who works in facilities management, wants to raise awareness of heart conditions and the importance of not ignoring warning signs and family history.
“This is very much about raising awareness. It doesn’t take much to go to the doctors and to get tested. Paul could have been saved. He could have had a stent put in if we were aware of it. If you are aware of it things can be done. Even if he had started taking aspirin. That could have potentially saved him.”
Ms Summers, who climbed Kilimanjaro for Help for Heroes in Mr Morgan’s memory, will be accompanying the riders in the support vehicle and may cycle a leg of the route, which will include stops at Sainsbury’s stores in Kingswood, Emersons Green, Filton, Clifton, Brislington, Bedminster and Mr Morgan’s local store in Worle, Weston-super-Mare.
Employees at 18 Sainsbury’s stores in the area will also be joining their colleagues in cycling the 185-mile route on static bikes in the supermarkets to raise awareness of the cause and heart problems.
Staff from The Post and our sister paper the Western Daily Press will be supporting the ride.
Store manager at Worle, Simon Luffman, who has helped organised the fundraising with Paul Broad, said: “There was an overwhelming feeling that the guys wanted to finish the ride in memory of Paul.”