Neil and Jess have set a challenge in memory of Jess’s dad, Pat

Neil and I have set a challenge in memory of my dad, Pat Loaring, who died in January 2017.

Neil is cycling from dad's house in Kingstone, Staffordshire to Lizard Point in Cornwall in the first week of May 2019. All in all it's a route of about 400 miles.

Dad was born in Somerset and lived in the West Country until he moved to Staffordshire when he was 32. A place he loved and visited almost every year for the past 20 years was Helford, Cornwall. So, our route will take in many of dad's favourite places and include cycling through Helford just before reaching our designation of Lizard Point, the most southerly point on the British mainland.

Dad was 71 and physically healthy when he died suddenly, 2 days after a visit to his GP presenting with breathlessness and discomfort when lying down. He was sent for a Chest x-ray on Thursday 19th January with the assumption that he had a partially collapsed lung. He then was sent home to await the results.

On Saturday 21st his breathlessness increased and an ambulance was called. Dad collapsed and passed away within the hour. We later found out the breathlessness, and ultimately his heart stopping, was caused by a pulmonary embolism. The pulmonary embolism was a piece, or pieces, of a blood clot that had travelled from his leg (Deep Vein Thrombosis, DVT) into his lungs. Together these are known as Venous Thromboembolism (VTE).

He also didn't appear to report symptoms of a DVT

We'd heard of DVT's before, when in hospital and on long flights. But dad hadn't done either so there was no investigation for a DVT. He also didn't appear to report symptoms of a DVT, such as lower leg pain or swelling. A DVT didn't even cross our minds.

We decided we wanted to raise awareness of Venous Thromboembolism in the hope that someone else would be able to get appropriate care quickly. This naturally led us to Thrombosis UK.

Thrombosis UK are a charity who work to raise awareness, support research and improve patient care of those who have experienced a DVT or VTE. I've learnt so much since being in contact with this friendly charity and so we decided, after a Saturday morning ideas burst, to fundraise for Thrombosis UK as we complete our challenge.

We are thinking of setting the target at £5000 given we have 9 months to achieve this.

We will complete our challenge during National Thromboembolism Week to coincide with Thrombosis UK's nationwide campaign.

Visit our Virgin Money Giving page