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The daughter of a policeman who received life-saving treatment at Bradford Royal Infirmary (BRI) is to take on a sponsored run to pay tribute to the staff who helped save her dad’s life.

Emily Lightowler, 28, is preparing to run the Helsinki Half Marathon with partner Joe Horton, 30, on June 10 to raise funds for the cardiology unit at Bradford Royal Infirmary.

Emily’s police officer father, Craig Lightowler, 53, suffered a heart attack on April 20 last year. He was originally treated at Leeds General Infirmary, where he had a stent fitted, but was then transferred to our Cardiac Unit for further treatment and after-care.

Thankfully, father-of-three Craig, of Tong, Bradford, is now doing well, but he remains an outpatient at BRI where his wife - Emily’s mum, Angela - works as a Healthcare Assistant on the elderly care wards.

Emily, of Tufnell Park, London, said: “We’re just so grateful for the great care Dad’s received.

“At the time of the attack he was home alone and had just had a bath. He actually called 999 himself and then called my Mum - who was elsewhere - to explain that he was having a heart attack and to give her directions to the LGI!

Looks much better

“Dad’s had a pacemaker fitted and looks much better and seems well in himself now.

“But he’s still having treatment as an outpatient at Bradford Royal Infirmary. The staff have been amazing. Even the after-care – the softer side of things – has been brilliant. They have been great at making sure my parents understand everything and have kept us all informed.

“The hospital also gave my Mum a lot of time off to be with my Dad when he was ill.”

Emily, a Commercial Tender Manager for transport company Abellio, admits her dad’s illness played a part in prompting her to take more exercise and take on the half-marathon.

She completed the Regents Park 10k at Easter as part of her training, and has been joined on training runs by supportive friends.

“When Dad had the heart attack I started running, as I thought I should probably get fit.

“To say thank you to the cardiology unit, we’ll be running the half-marathon and aiming for a time around two hours 15 minutes together in Helsinki. Joe and I are both of a fairly equal standard, so we’ll run it together.

“So far we’ve raised about £700, but it would be great to raise more.

“The race takes place on my birthday and it’s something good to do for a good cause.”

Unbelievable care

Craig, who has completed an intensive week-long course of rehab which has aided his recovery, said the care he’d received from staff at BRI had been “unbelievable”.

“I had a stent fitted in LGI and was then under the care of Dr Christopher Morley at BRI. The care I’ve received at the hospital has been amazing.

“I hate to see people complaining about the NHS because I know that every single member of staff gives 100 per cent every time. I can’t thank them enough.”

Craig added he was very proud of Emily for taking on the run to show her appreciation for his treatment. “She is a really wonderful, wonderful woman and I have nothing but admiration for her. I am very proud of what she is doing.”

Although Craig, whose first grandchild, Lily, was born three months before he fell ill, has not returned to work since, he was due to retire from his Leeds-based post with West Yorkshire Police this year.

To sponsor Emily and Joe, and help raise funds for the cardiology unit at Bradford Royal Infirmary, visit their justgiving page at: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Emily-Lightowler