Dedicated heart surgeon runs London Marathon for charity

Wednesday 1 May 2024

Sunil with his wife, Nisha, stood on a roof terrace with the backdrop of London, after running the 2024 London Marathon. Sunil is wearing a Guy's & St Thomas' Charity red top and is stood next to a red and orange banner that reads 'Guy's & St Thomas' Charity.'

Sunil with his wife, Nisha, after running the 2024 London Marathon.

A determined heart surgeon with a career spanning almost 30 years in the NHS ran the London Marathon for Guy’s & St Thomas’ Charity.

Sunil Bhudia, for the second year running, took on the 26.2 mile feat for his patients, who are at the heart of everything he does. The consultant cardiac surgeon at Harefield Hospital has fundraised an incredible £18,000 for the charity so far, which supports exceptional care for patients and staff at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.

The 53-year-old, who also performs cardiac surgery in Kenya for charity, has performed over 2,000 life changing heart surgeries to date.

Sunil, who is also clinical director of heart and lung services at Harefield Hospital, specialises in minimal access (keyhole) heart valve surgery for adults with mitral valve disease, when the valve between the left heart chamber doesn’t close properly. Patients with this condition are often short of breath, may be unable to work, and have a reduced life expectancy.

Sunil and his surgical team at the leading heart hospital use minimally invasive techniques to repair or replace the damaged valve with a new one. After surgery patients are able to resume their regular activities and have an increased quality of life. He also undertakes keyhole surgery for patients in need of aortic valve and coronary artery bypass surgery.

Now the devoted surgeon, who lives in Edgware, has taken on the iconic marathon challenge for Guy’s & St Thomas’ Charity. One of the Trust’s five charities, they support the exceptional care at Guy’s and St Thomas’, including helping to advance robotic surgery by funding one of the da Vinci surgical robots. By using robots, surgeons are able to deliver faster, more targeted operations that lead to quicker recovery times for patients, with reduced scarring. The charity also help the NHS teams thrive and provide one of the most comprehensive health and wellbeing programmes in the NHS.

Sunil, who last year completed his Masters in Business Administration at Imperial College Business School, said:

Seeing a smile on my patients’ faces makes me so proud, and I want to continue to push boundaries. I love to make a difference to their lives in every possible way.

After completing the race in 5 hours 12 minutes, Sunil said:

I am really proud and grateful for all of my supporters – they inspire me to keep going. Together we can make a positive difference for our patients.

Alongside maintaining his fundraising momentum, training for the marathon has helped Sunil keep fit and healthy. He said: “Doing the right thing for my patients is at the centre of everything I do. What really drives me is continuous improvement and efficiency, so I can make things better for them. I have developed these surgical skills and I need to be healthy to operate at the top of my game, to best help my patients.”

Sunil fits his training around his incredibly busy clinical commitments and often runs around the hospital grounds. When he isn’t at work or training, he spends quality time at home with his wife Nisha, who also works at Harefield Hospital as a principle pharmacist, and his two children, Sanjni, 24, and Aadil,18.

Barbara Kasumu, Executive Director of Guy’s & St Thomas’ Charity, said: “Sunil is a shining example of everything the NHS represents – dedication, compassion, and excellence. We are so grateful for his incredible fundraising and commitment to the Trust and we can’t wait to see what he does next!”  

Visit Sunil's JustGiving page to support his fundraising. 

Last updated: May 2024

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