Indian praise for heart doctor's flying mission

Doctors in India have praised a cardiologist from South Yorkshire who is travelling the world in a bid to raise awareness of a heart condition which strikes people without warning.

Dr Nigel Wheeldon, who is also trained as a commercial pilot, took off from Doncaster's Robin Hood Airport at the end of July to tell as many people as possible about Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SAD).

His 40,000-mile route takes hi to several cities in Asia before he sets off across the Atlantic to spread the word in the US but his mission has already caught the attention of doctors in one of the world's fastest developing countries.

Speaking to the Calcutta Times, Dr Robin Chakraborty, a consultant cardiologist at the city's Apollo Gleneagles Hospital, said: "Raising an awareness of this condition and providing support for the families affected is the need of the hour.

"The uniqueness of the initiative is sure to achieve its goal and it is our privilege to be part of it."

Dr Wheeldon said the flying had been tiring, especially because the weather conditions over Asia were hot, humid and stormy and made navigating difficult and at time impossible.

He added: "This part of the project has gone really well but has been hectic, with flying every day punctuated by some sort of promotional activity. These have ranged from TV, radio and newspaper interviews to talking to the average man in the street and handing out wristbands and leaflets.

"India in particular has been very welcoming of our project and we have developed a strong link in Calcutta through one of their leading cardiologists along with a lot of support from their media and local government.

"This has resulted in a return visit being required fro a large public awareness meeting in a few weeks. I have also been fortunate in connecting with medical colleagues across China and again this has resulted in invites back again to take things further."

It is still possible to donate cash to the appeal which is running alongside Dr Wheeldon's flight. All cash will go the British charities SADS UK and Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY). Log on to