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  • Crispin Till

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    Devastating loss motivates family's Cardiac Challenge ride

    A TNQ family is using the devastating loss of their beloved husband and father as motivation to get on their bikes for the 2017 Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge.

    Steven Nicolaou was just 47 years old when he died from a heart attack in April.

    Now Karen, Jake and Paige Nicolaou are gearing up to take on the Cardiac Challenge in his memory.

    “We lived in Cooktown when he died and we had often seen the Cardiac Challenge riders come into town so we just thought now was the time to do it,” Mrs Nicolaou said.

    “To be honest it’s probably diverted my attention a bit from losing Steven, but it’s a healthy positive thing to do and we’re making a difference.”

    Sadly, Steven’s family has been plagued with heart issues – one of his brothers had a quadruple bypass at age 39, his eldest brother also had a heart attack, his father had six bypasses and his sister also has a heart condition.

    On the day Steven died, he woke with back and shoulder pain that just did not settle, he had a shower, a massage and finally asked for an ambulance.

    Despite efforts to keep him alive, Steven died at the Cooktown Hospital.

    “The positive thing is that the children are now being tested for heart issues, and we’re taking part in this bike ride to make a difference,” Mrs Nicolaou said.

    Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation chief executive officer Tony Franz said there were many stories of participants whose lives had been touched by heart conditions.

    “Unfortunately we see it so much, but it’s really a big reason why people take part – they’re motivated because they want to make a difference,” Mr Franz said.

    “United together everyone who takes part makes a massive difference to health outcomes in the Far North.”

    Registrations close on July 31. For more info, check out the Cardiac Challenge website.