Triple heart bypass patient takes on Kilimanjaro for UHB Charity

At just 42 years old, Pratap Mekapothu was a healthy and active person, but one day he felt ill with shortness of breath and after a number of tests he found out he had cardiac disease, which wasn’t just shocking but massively life changing. Unrecognised cardiac disease is one of the most common health problems in young patients, more so in Asians.

“I thought I was the picture of health. I was active and fit, never experiencing any health issues until one day while running, I suddenly felt short of breath. After undergoing various tests, I was shocked to learn that I needed to undergo triple heart bypass surgery. This news came during the pandemic in November 2020, which made things even more challenging for me and my family.”

He had to have the emergency life saving surgery at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham and despite feeling daunted about having the procedure; Pratap says he received excellent care and support from staff at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust. After 6 days of being discharged from the hospital, he started walking and slowly regained his energy and is now doing amazingly well. He has since been hiking, cycling 50-100 miles every week and has now taken on his biggest challenge to date.

Rather than going for a small challenge locally, Pratap decided to go big and take on a trek up Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa. We are amazed by Pratap’s dedication and fundraising efforts to support other patients with similar conditions and highlight the condition amongst the Asian community.

He said, “The treatment and support I received from University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust is what inspired me to raise awareness of the importance of living a healthy lifestyle and fundraise for UHB Charity to support patients and their families going through life-saving treatment.”

Consultant Shivanand Cavan said. "I am immensely proud of Pratap’s fantastic achievement reaching the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro within three years of triple bypass heart surgery at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham. Being a very close friend of Pratap, it was shocking to know he had severe coronary artery disease at such a young age, with almost no symptoms to warn him. When he mentioned casually about some chest discomfort, I didn’t think it would be anything serious but suggested that he get himself checked out; that small conversation turned out to be life saving for him."

In spite of the challenges the hospital faced during the pandemic, Pratap received amazing care and has made steady progress, pushing boundaries to keep himself fit as well as create awareness about life after cardiac surgery for other patients in a similar situation."

Join us in celebrating Pratap’s amazing feat and help him reach his target on his Just Giving page

If Pratap has inspired you to raise funds to thank staff that looked after you, your family or a friend – then sign up to a UHB Charity events