A Coventry University Professor took part in the Rugby Half Marathon in October 2018 to thank the people of Rugby and emergency services who came to his aid when he suffered a cardiac arrest.
Ralph Kenna (53) from Rugby had been shopping as usual at the local supermarket when his heart suddenly stopped and he collapsed.
He wanted to raise funds for Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance that came to his rescue after two passers-by at the scene gave him CPR and others rallied round to assist.
The air ambulance crew put him into an induced coma before he was transported to University Hospital Coventry by land ambulance.
Ralph was in a coma for four days and spent seven weeks in hospital. It was six months before he was well enough to return to work.
He is in touch with the two local men who came to his rescue and says he will be forever grateful for what they did.
He also appreciates the vital roles the local police and land ambulance crew played in saving his life.
“The people of Rugby rallied round when I needed help. To say thank you I wanted to raise funds for the local air ambulance as it is there for us all and saves lives in the area every day,” he says.
Ralph describes himself as “always having been very health conscious” and he had taken part in half marathons before his cardiac arrest. Since being discharged from hospital he has been running regularly, slowly building up his distance.
“What happened to me was completely random. I am an ordinary person, it was an ordinary day and I am very fit – so if it can happen to me it can happen to anyone. “
“I want to raise awareness of the local air ambulance and the importance of the service it provides, which is not government funded. The cost of each mission they fly is £1,700 so that is my fundraising target. A small gesture of thanks to kind people everywhere,” he says.
Ralph has set up a JustGiving page https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ralph-kenna for people who want to support him.