A BRADFORD woman who has survived a complex heart condition is to take on a number of challenges to raise funds for two good causes.

Philippa Barraclough, 29, was just a week old when she required open heart surgery, after medics found that she had been born with two holes in her heart, while she was also born with a rare defect which meant that her aorta - the heart's main blood vessel - had not formed properly.

Philippa, who is from Bradford South, was also diagnosed with other health issues, including cerebral visual impairment when she was in her twenties, while she also lives with scoliosis, meaning she must take painkillers daily.

Despite these obstacles, the customer sales assistant is to carry out a series of cycling and walking challenges, raising money to help others who are in need.

Philippa will cycle the equivalent distances of various routes - including from Bradford to Newcastle - on an exercise bike in her garage.

She will also walk a series of local routes, which she says will cover over 660 miles in total.

Her actions will raise money for both the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and Children’s Heart Surgery Fund, with Philippa setting herself a target of £3,000.

As a baby, Philippa underwent an eight-hour operation, where surgeons were able to successfully correct her heart defects, before she spent three months in hospital

“It was an extremely distressing time for my family,” she said.

“I was christened in hospital before my surgery. Mum and dad had been advised to do this in case the surgery was unsuccessful. The surgery was on my brother Isaac’s fifth birthday, which was even more heart-breaking.

“I am very lucky. It might not seem like it, but I think I’m proof that you must make the most of what you have.

“I went to university after getting amazing support while I was in school. I have a job and I do it all whilst seeing only 50 per cent of the world.

“Before the BHF existed, most babies born in the UK with a heart defect did not survive to their first birthday,” Philippa added.

“But today, thanks to research, around 8 in 10 survive to adulthood.

“The Children's Heart Surgery Fund helps to support the families of children who are undergoing care at Leeds General Infirmary. This fund ensured my family had a room to stay in, so they wouldn’t have to go back and forth whilst I was in hospital.

“I’m so grateful for both of these causes, which have helped me and my family at our toughest time, so I really want to give something back.”