Pedal power feat!

PUBLISHED: 16:18 25 June 2009 | UPDATED: 11:16 10 June 2010

A NEWTON Poppleford man, who suffered a stroke at the age of 29, has completed a mammoth charity cycle challenge from Land s End to John O Groats.

A NEWTON Poppleford man, who suffered a stroke at the age of 29, has completed a mammoth charity cycle challenge from Land's End to John O'Groats.

Solicitor Bruce Bower, 32, suffered a stroke in 2005 and permanently lost part of his eyesight after it was found he had a hole in his heart.

Mr Bower completed the 956-mile cycle ride in seven days, and his efforts have raised around £1,500 for the Grown Up Congenital Heart Patients' Association.

Mr Bower decided to raise the cash as a thank you to a Bristol doctor who diagnosed his heart condition using a special 'bubble' test - and to raise awareness of the condition and charity.

Mr Bower's sight loss had baffled doctors and medics were stumped to come up with a diagnosis.

Thanks to the bubble test, Mr Bower, who works at Everys in Exmouth, was given keyhole surgery to repair his heart.

And he prevented his brother, Robin, 29, from facing a similar fate.

He, too, was found to have a hole in his heart and was medically treated for his condition after his brother urged him to get tested.

Mr Bower said he settled on a charity cycle ride after he was forced to give up driving for two years following his sight loss.

After turning to his bike for transport, it seemed fitting tribute to cycle to raise funds, he said.

Sid Valley Cycling Club member Mr Bower said: "Losing my sight was pretty scary. All of a sudden I was unable to see half the world. It was quite alarming.

"Doing the ride was good fun and completing it was brilliant. It was the first time I had been to Scotland."

There is still time to donate funds for Mr Bower's cycle ride in aid of Grown Up Congenital Heart patients' Association.

Go to www.justgiving. com/end2end-7days

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