Leeds family who lost dad back art project to help heart research

A BROTHER and sister from Leeds who lost their father to heart disease are backing an artist's bid to raise awarenesss.

The names of lost loved ones will be engraved on an iconic sculpture to raise awareness of the devastation caused by heart problems as figures reveal alarming high death rates in the region.

Around 13,500 people die from heart and circulatory conditions every year in Yorkshire and Humber, which has the highest death rates for heart and circulatory disease in England.

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To raise funds for more research into conditions like heart disease, vascular dementia and stroke, the charity has teamed up with the artist Steve Mehdi to unveil a sculpture called The Heart of Steel at Sheffield’s Meadowhall shopping centre.

Yorkshire Artist Steve Mehdi witgh his sculpture. Photo: Paul David Drabble www.pauldaviddrabble.co.uk

People are invited to engrave their names or the names of loved ones on the steel sculpture in exchange for a donation to BHF.

Lee and Kay Birmingham, from Leeds, lost their father Peter Birmingham four years ago following a long battle with heart and circulatory disease.

Mr Birmingham, who is also survived by his wife Carole, suffered a heart attack aged 47, then a stroke in 2012.

He had a quadruple bypass and was fitted with a pacemaker, but he died in 2014 aged 71.

Daughter Kay said: “Sadly, I’m just one of millions of families who have lost someone to heart and circulatory disease, but this doesn’t have to be the case.

“That’s why I’m calling on everyone to make a mark on the Heart of Steel in aid of the British Heart Foundation’s life saving research.”