Who’s Who: Royal Free doctor raising awareness of ‘rare killer’

Royal Free Hospital doctor Hossam Fayed who cycled 70 miles to raise awareness of pulmonary hyperten

Royal Free Hospital doctor Hossam Fayed who cycled 70 miles to raise awareness of pulmonary hypertension. Picture: Alex Orrow - Credit: Copyright © Alex Orrow. All Rights Reserved.

Royal Free Hospital doctor Hossam Fayed was exhausted after finishing a 70 mile bike ride in aid of raising awareness of the potentially fatal condition pulmonary hypertension (PH).

However, he told this newspaper it was all worth while to draw more attention to a little-known, and often mis-diagnosed, disease.

PH is a potentially fatal condition where high blood pressure and blocked arteries can put serious pressure on somebody’s heart.

Hossam said: “It’s a very rare disease, there are only a few cases across the country. It’s a condition which can be fatal.

“Unfortunately because it’s so rare it often presents very late, when it’s very difficult to treat.”

Hossam, 37, lives in Finchley and has been working at the Royal Free for four years.

Before that, he trained as a doctor in Alexandria, Egypt where he was born before moving to England – first to Oxford and then to north London – almost eight years ago.

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Hossam’s motivation, both to take part in the ride and to become a PH specialist, was a very personal one.

He told the Ham&High: “A friend of ours at medical school was about 18 or 19 when he was diagnosed with PH.

“He passed away just three months later.

“It influenced what I decided to do, how I decided to specialise and it has been a huge motivator throughout my career.”

Hossam’s bike ride was part of a week-long event which saw PH specialists ride between the centres which treat PH, of which the Royal Free is one.

For Hossam, the key thing is to make sure you are informed about the illness.

He said; “The problem is it doesn’t have any unique symptoms.

“It can cause breathlessness, collapses, high blood pressure, but all of these things can be caused by lots of other conditions, so it can be difficult to spot.”

The cycle was part of a three-day tour organised by charity Team PHenomenal Hope UK and Ireland.

It formed part of UK Pulmonary Hypertension Awareness Week, which concluded on October 28.

Cyclists started the relay in Sheffield before stopping at Papworth on their way into London. There, they passed by the Royal Free before finishing at Imperial Hospital.

The route was chosen to highlight specialist PH units.