Megan’s half marathon for life

Heart attack survivor Megan Bigg becomes a Heart Racer to help raise funds for the Heart Foundation.

For many people, a near-death experience after completing a half marathon training walk might put them off exercise altogether.

However, for Napier’s Megan Bigg a terrifying experience 11 years ago sparked an even stronger commitment to do more exercise. Recently, she took part in the 2016 ASB Auckland Half Marathon walk as a Heart Racer to help raise funds for the Heart Foundation.

Born with a congenital heart condition, Megan said her aortic valve “packed up” following a training walk in 2004. Fortunately, help was close at hand as her sister who is a nurse, had been out walking with her.

“She immediately swung into action and performed CPR on me by the side of the road.”

Megan was then rushed to hospital barely hanging on to life. She spent four weeks in Hawkes Bay and Wellington hospitals, followed by months of rehabilitation.

Megan said she is very aware of the great work being done by the Heart Foundation.

“They have support people to help when you are in recovery mode and lots of information and books full of advice,” she says. 

At age 32, she was the youngest person to attend her local cardiac club.

The Heart Foundation had a strong presence at this year’s 2016 ASB Auckland Marathon. Thanks to people like Megan, there were over 70 Heart Racers who turned up at the start line to raise a combined total of almost $60,000.

For Megan, crossing the finish line was a huge achievement.

“I started getting emotional about one kilometre from the finish line. It was such a great experience, I’m definitely coming back for more next year.”

Find out how you can fundraise for the Heart Foundation.

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