Brothers Zac and Carter recently embarked on an inspiring journey this January, walking 234 kilometres – the equivalent of two ultra-marathons – to raise an impressive £340. What makes this challenge even more remarkable is that both brothers live with heart conditions. The raised funds will support Cardiology Services at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board.

At just 10 years old, Zac’s health challenges began with what initially appeared to be seizures, forcing him to give up his beloved sport of rugby. Now 19, Zac has been diagnosed with tachycardic syndrome, a lifelong condition characterised by dangerously accelerated heart rates that can lead to collapse. This is a lifelong condition that will require constant monitoring and medication.

Zac said: “The challenge was something we wanted to do to prove even if you have a heart condition, you can still achieve anything.  We decided to do it for Cardiology as without them me and my brother would not be here today to tell our story.”

A couple of years ago, Carter was rushed into hospital with a suspected virus. Unaware of the severity of his condition, and several blood tests later, the family was informed that Carter had Kawasaki Disease.

Kawasaki Disease affects infants and young children, and without prompt treatment, around 1 in 4 children with Kawasaki Disease get heart complications. This can be fatal in about 2 to 3% of cases. Because of this, Kawasaki disease is one of the main causes of heart disease in children under 5 in the UK.

Carter said: “Everything hurt, I could not stay awake and was told by multiple people I had a virus. I did have a virus but one that could have potentially killed me. My body was fighting so hard. I was rushed to hospital where my mum was so scared.”

“I had to have scans of my heart and had to tell my school they needed a defibrillator on site. It was the scariest thing I have ever had to go through.”

The brothers also raised funds in memory of their aunt who was born with Goldenhar Syndrome, a rare disorder that affects the development of the face and skull. Their walk served as a tribute to her resilience, especially to her own the journey through open heart surgery.

Despite encountering setbacks along the way, Zac and Carter not only completed their challenge, but also exceeded their fundraising target. This inspiring achievement stands as a testament of their strength and willpower.

This National Heart Month, we celebrate the brothers and their incredible determination, which not only raises awareness of their conditions but also offers hope and encouragement to others confronting similar challenges. They have shown the world, specifically people who might be facing similar challenges, that anything is achievable.

If you’d like to show your support, you can still donate to Zac’s and Carter’s fundraising page.

Feel inspired to challenge yourself? Contact us on if you’d like to fundraise for a ward or department that has helped you or your family.

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