Alec Bloom wins an award for his work to fight heart disease

Former heart patient Alec Bloom, who set up a charity to fight against heart disease, has been honoured for his efforts.

In 1990, Leeds-based Mr Bloom founded the Heartbeat Appeal which has raised more than £2.5 million for hospitals across Yorkshire. He was recently awarded the Order of Mercy medal, which recognises the voluntary work in healthcare. He founded the charity one year before he underwent open-heart surgery.

“I had been involved in voluntary fundraising and was asked to do something by some cardiologists,” Mr Bloom, in his 70s, tells People. “Getting the Mercy medal on top of the MBE that I received in 2003 is a big honour and something I never expected.”

Although Mr Bloom has stepped down from its day-to-day running following a second bout of heart surgery, he says he will continue to remain involved wherever he can.

    Last updated: 4:59pm, July 17 2008