A fundraising father has put pen to paper to raise money for a charity that looks after cardiac patients on the Isle of Wight. 

Mark Ind, whose son Alex was born with a serious heart condition, has written his first book, ‘Fifty Days of Lockdown’ – a personal account of his family’s unique experience of lockdown – and he aims to ignite a feeling of hope to all that read it.

No stranger to inspiring others, Mark and his family have raised more than £100,000 for regional charity, Wessex Heartbeat, in an ongoing act of gratitude for the care and support given to Alex.

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With a percentage of his book sales going to the regional cardiac charity, the first-time author continues to fundraise for the organisation that holds a special place in his heart.

Alex himself, who had never run more than the length of a cricket pitch, spent a month in lockdown training for a charity 10K run and, exactly 1 year to the day after his fourth round of major open-heart surgery, he completed the incredible challenge – raising £3,000 for Wessex Heartbeat.

Arriving 3-weeks premature in Winchester Hospital, Alex was born with congenital heart disease and a condition which caused a blockage in a part of his heart that connects to the lungs, meaning his blood was not being oxygenated properly. Although a shunt was fitted to clear the blockage, investigations found he also had two holes in the heart and his internal organs were the wrong way around.

Under the care of the Wessex Cardiac Centre at Southampton General Hospital, including ongoing after-care support from Wessex Heartbeat, Alex has faced a lifetime of operations – including 4 open-heart surgeries with the most recent performed in May 2019.

This operation came after Alex contracted eczema. An infection got into his bloodstream causing sepsis that infected the tubing around his heart. While recovering from the surgery, he also suffered a mini stroke but, incredibly, Alex pulled through – and was playing Hampshire League Cricket just 2 weeks later.

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Mark said:

“Writing a lockdown journal was certainly inspired by Alex, who experienced his own personal lockdown while he endured those three months in hospital and then completed his triumphant 10K run in May last year.

“Alex’s story, coupled with the chronology of the virus including Boris’s illness, Captain Tom’s amazing fundraising feat and the nationwide VE Day celebrations, resulted in this unique book with an underlying message of hope in the face of adversity.”

To order your copy visit

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