Jack Besford, 75 was one of the official Olympic torch bearers
to help the torch on its journey through the north east and
completed his leg in Barnard Castle. Jack has been volunteering
with the cardiac rehabilitation service at UHND for 14 years. He
makes a huge commitment to the team supporting them four times a
week and has become a mentor for patients coming through the
Denise Greenwell, cardiac rehab manager said: "Jack is a
wonderful man. He is such a big help to the service and we think
the world of him. We decided that nominating him to carry the
Olympic torch would be a nice way of showing him how much he has
come to mean to us. We were so proud to see him with the torch, he
really deserves it and it was the least we could do!"
After sadly losing his wife, Jack suffered a heart attack and
accessed the service as a patient. He said: "It is such a great
service that I really wanted to offer what support I could. The
staff are excellent but having someone there who has actually had a
heart attack is a real benefit to the patients, I've been through
it and I know what it's like. I can help build their confidence
back up as I know that they are worrying about having another
"I never thought I would make it through to carry the torch
after the team nominated me so I was blown away when I was chosen.
I was quite nervous on the day but it was an honour to carry it and
to represent the hospital."
Published: 27 June 2012
'As I was very, very nervous, I must have been the worst patient
ever and they were brilliant with me and I can't thank them enough
- could you please pass on my sincere thanks.'
Patient, Hysteroscopy Unit, Chester-le-Street Community