AN Ingleton father of two was so grateful to get his life back after heart surgery he climbed the Yorkshire Three Peaks - taking his surgeon with him.

Mobile fish monger, David Kendall, 60, was diagnosed with aortic valve stenosis, a deformity of the heart valve which causes a narrowing of the aortic valve opening.

“At the insistence of my wife, I went to my doctors and was referred to a cardiologist who diagnosed a heart valve problem,” explained Mr Kendal who is a keen long-distance walker.

“I was told that if I did not do anything to rectify the problem I would probably only have 18 months to live.”

In May last year he was admitted to the cardiac centre at Blackpool Victoria Hospital. There consultant cardiothoracic surgeon Andrew Duncan replaced his faulty heart valve.

“I had been an active walker and the heart problem meant I had to curtail my love of hiking because it had become too dangerous.

“After my operation I asked Mr Duncan if I would be able to walk around the Ingleton Waterfalls again and he said that after a period of recuperation I would be able to do whatever I wanted.

“I said that in that case I would walk the Three Peaks in a year’s time.

“Mr Duncan told me he had not done that hike since he was 16 so I suggested he should come with me. He also told me about the Heart of Gold campaign to raise funds to enhance patient care at the cardiac unit, so I decided to do the Three Peaks climb for the cause.”

Exactly a year from his surgery date Mr Kendal met up with Mr Duncan at Ribblehead and both surgeon and patient took on the Three Peaks challenge together.

The pair completed the challenge in 11-and-a-half hours and Mr Kendal raised £4,000 for the Heart of Gold campaign, which is run through Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust charity, Blue Skies Hospitals Fund.

“It was wonderful that Mr Duncan came with me. It was such a super day and I felt so lucky to be able to live my life again,” Mr Kendal added. “

Mr Duncan added: “David sought medical help quickly and followed our recuperation plan to the letter allowing him to make a good recovery. We are extremely grateful to him for raising money for the Heart of Gold campaign which allows us to consistently improve services for our patients.”