A HOUSTON woman who lost her dad to cardiac arrest is set to pound through the streets of London in the hope of boosting lifesaving research into heart conditions.

Dr Kirsty Horne, 41, works for the British Heart Foundation (BHF) helping people and families affected by heart disease.

But it’s the loss of her father Paddy more than 10 years ago which has inspired her to take on the Virgin Money London Marathon later this month for the BHF.

In 2007, while on maternity leave from her clinical psychology training, Kirsty moved back into the family home to live with her parents.

One morning, she found her father unconscious.

Kirsty said: “I initially thought he was sleeping but soon realised something was wrong. I tried CPR with the help of my mum and younger brother, who was only 15 at the time, but when the paramedics arrived, he couldn’t be revived.

“He was 58. Our whole family was devastated and it’s never really been the same since. It makes us sad to think he never got to meet nine of his 11 grandchildren.”

Kirsty now works in cardiac rehabilitation for the BHF – a programme to help people get back on their feet after a heart attack or heart surgery.

On April 22, she will join around 400 runners in the fight against heart disease and will help the BHF raise close to £1million towards pioneering research.

Kirsty said: “Working where I do has made me very aware of how devastating cardiac disease can be.

“Until then, I thought I was ‘immune’ because I was a female, despite heart disease running in my family.”

Since June 2015, Kirsty has been taking on ever-increasing running challenges.

Last year, she ran three half-marathons and now she will be running her first ever marathon and hoping to raise £1,000, all in memory of her dad.

Karen McDonnell, events manager at the BHF, added: “We are thrilled Kirsty has chosen to take on this legendary challenge for the BHF and will be supporting her every step of the way.

“Around 685,000 people are living with cardiovascular disease in Scotland. By joining the fight, Kirsty really will be helping us stop heart disease.”

To find out about BHF’s events, visit bhf.org.uk/events.