A heart rehab expert who helps people recover from heart attacks or surgery has been honoured for her own big heart.
Jo Strong has been recognised by the British Heart Foundation as a ‘Woman with Heart’ for her outstanding work helping heart patients.
The 33-year-old holds cardiac rehabilitation classes at Graves Tennis and Leisure Centre and Springs Leisure Centre to show heart patients how to exercise safely.
She also helps people change their lifestyles to improve their hearts.
Now the British Heart Foundation is encouraging Sheffielders to vote for Jo in the Women with Heart contest, highlighting the work of ten women in the UK. Voting closes on March 3.
Jo said: “I’m honoured to have been recognised by the BHF in this way and to be in the company of so many other inspiring women.
“I always knew I wanted to help people, but four years ago when I first started working in cardiac rehabilitation, I had no idea how much working with vulnerable heart patients would affect me.
“It’s my life. I find it so rewarding to support my patients from heart attack recovery to being able to play tennis or run again. It is the best job in the world.”
Jo started at Graves in 2009 with just one class of patients – and now runs five classes across both centres. She has also completed three marathons and a bike ride raising more than £3,000 for the British Heart Foundation.
Dave Birds, of Sheffield International Venues, which runs the centres, said: “Jo works really hard improving the health of the communities.
“She has helped hundreds of people in the past suffering with long term conditions.
“But as a specialist cardiac instructor she has a true passion, not only helping recent sufferers of coronary heart disease, but helping raise thousands of pounds for the BHF.”
* Vote for Jo at Women with Heart