The Pete Hinchliffe Travel Award for Medics 2012 was awarded to Dr Abbas Zaidi. He was awarded the prize in 2013, in recognition of being the most outstanding CRY Research Fellow throughout 2012.
The award provides a grant of £1,000 to allow Dr Zaidi to travel to international conferences to showcase his research findings and learn from his counterparts in the global cardiology community.
The award was created by the family of Pete Hinchliffe, who died suddenly in 2010 (aged 33), whilst out cycling, from previously undiagnosed arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC). The Hinchliffe family hope that the travel award named after him will help his memory live on and prevent other families going through what they did.
On receiving the award, Dr Zaidi said “It came as a very pleasant surprise to me and I’d like to thank the Hinchliffe family. Of course, the fact that this award exists is due to tragic circumstances, but it’s very generous of the family to maintain an interest in CRY and in fostering research that will help other families and hopefully prevent sudden deaths. It was a great honour for me to receive the award. “During my time with CRY I saw a lot of patients – I have personally screened in the order of 5,000 individuals in the 3 years I was with CRY. The expertise that you get in interpreting the ECGs of young people is really unique. I also assessed families of victims of sudden death at CRY’s clinics. You have to empathise with the family and put yourself in the place of the family – you do build relationships with the families but at the same time you have to remain professional, you have to remain objective. So it’s a mix of empathy and understanding and professional distance. Not to get too attached, not to get too upset or emotional – although it’s difficult with the families, with the bereavements. “I really enjoyed the 3 years with CRY. It’s been a great experience, a great ‘family’ that you join and you feel once you leave that you’re not leaving the group. I hope to continue to work in contact with CRY in the future and develop services for inherited heart diseases, screening and sports cardiology in Wales, where I am now based.”
Dr Zaidi (left) talks about his research with CRY’s Consultant Cardiologist, Professor Sanjay Sharma