Running with heart

Posted on Friday 26th April 2019
Members of our heart team, who are running the 2019 London Marathon.

Members of the heart team who are running the London Marathon

A father is running the London Marathon with members of Evelina London's heart team to thank them for saving his son’s life.

Alamgir Kabir, 46, from Dulwich in South London, is taking on the London Marathon with 14 members of our cardiology team after they treated his son for a serious heart condition.

Zaki Kabir, now 13, was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect called truncus arteriosu, when his mother, Saleha, was 20 weeks pregnant.

Truncus arteriosus is a very rare condition where a single artery comes out of both ventricles of the heart, instead of the usual two. If untreated, the condition is fatal. 

Dr Aaron Bell, a cardiologist at Evelina London, said: “I’m absolutely delighted that Zaki is doing well and Alamgir will be taking part in the London Marathon with us."

Zaki had life-saving open heart surgery when he was six weeks old. During the seven hour operation, doctors separated his aorta and pulmonary artery to create a pathway for blood to travel from the right ventricle of the heart out to the lungs. He had further surgery to repair his heart when he was five and again when he was 12.

Dr Aaron Bell, added: “Every member of our team plays a crucial part in caring for our patients so it is very fitting that a cross section of them, from our nurses, consultants to managers, will be running.

“All of our team are really excited about taking part. We have been training together and we did a half marathon with Alamgir in February. We have received lots of support and encouragement from our patients and we are extremely thankful to them all.”

Alamgir, who is a heart doctor at an Essex hospital, said: “We were devastated when we found out Zaki had a serious heart condition. My wife and I were terrified at the prospect of him undergoing major heart surgery at such a young age. But the heart team at Evelina London were amazing.

“They really went out of their way to put us at ease. As a heart doctor myself, I was extremely impressed by the cutting-edge treatments given to Zaki and the dedication and care shown by staff. We owe Zaki’s life to Evelina London. I really couldn’t thank the hospital enough.

“Running the London Marathon is my way of saying thank you to the wonderful staff who looked after Zaki. I’m still in touch with the team who treated him so when I found out that a group of them were also planning to take part it made perfect sense to do it with them. I know the challenge will be really tough but running with the team who saved Zaki’s life will make the day extra special.”

Our cardiology service cares for around 6,000 patients each year, diagnosing and treating of all kinds of children's heart problems.

Help Alamgir and our heart team reach their fundraising target.

Celebrating 150 years of caring for children

Dr Aaron Bell, said: “The Evelina London heart service is internationally recognised for providing outstanding care. We recently opened a new fetal cardiology unit and we are due to open a new cardiology ward for our very ill patients. As part of Evelina London’s 150 anniversary year, we thought it was really important to show our appreciation for the hospital, which has invested so much in our team, by taking part in the London Marathon.”