Good News Story - Mark Blake

July 23 2018

Here at Freedom Leisure the Flash Leisure Centre we have a lot of amazing stories from our inspirational customers, and positive happenings going on that we believe deserve a wider audience. This story comes from one of our incredible NERS customers by the name of Mark Blake. Mark has been a real inspiration to the staff and other customers of the centre and we are proud to have been a part of his amazing journey which he has been kind enough to share with us below.

My Name is Mark in July 2017 I was diagnosed with three blocked arteries supplying blood to my heart. I am not sure if I ever had any symptoms other than a middle back ache which at times was very painful especially during a walk.

I was operated on in the Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital on 21st September 2017 the night before I remember being quite upbeat and looking forward to feeling good again, I even promised myself a mountain climb, which I’d never done before.

I went to Theater as planned the next morning and woke up many hours later with a long scar on my chest and my left arm missing an artery.

Forward a few months, I was advised or perhaps invited to join in with The National Exercise Referral Scheme (NERS) I had nothing to loose so went along and paid my 2 quid. I met Lorraine Lloyd who gave me an initial assessment and set me a very basic but complete exercise program which I started about 4 or 5 months ago. When I started it was quite hard going although the exercise was basic and light. Over the next months I worked at my fitness gradually increasing resistance and weight where possible until 6th July 2018 when I climbed Snowdon using the Pig Track up and Miners Track down. I won’t lie it was hard but boy did I feel good looking down on all of Wales and England. My sense of achievement is still at the forefront of my thoughts, Im going to do more of it now. I went up with a girlfriend and came down with a fiancée.

One thing I’d like to say about NERS is I have seen some people who have almost not been able to get on an exercise bike go from hardly being able to turn the pedals to confidently getting on and pedalling for sometime with resistance.

NERS is a fabulous service if you get the chance use it and keep using it. I have nothing but admiration and gained so much from it.


Mark Blake

Cardiac Rehab Mountain Climber

Here at the Flash Leisure Centre we would like to congratulate Mark and his new fiancée and wish them all the best for the future. We would also like to thank Mark again for allowing us to share his story and we look forward to seeing him in the centre in the near future.