WHEN Nicky McGovern lost her partner Jay to a heart attack, she went through the hardest time in her life, but now she is taking on an iconic cycle ride in his memory.

In 2017, taxi driver Jay had a heart attack while dropping off his last customer.

A call to 999 was made and it took paramedics 20 minutes to restart his heart, before the 49-year-old was rushed to hospital and admitted to intensive care.

But the first heart attack had caused too much damage and Jay died two days later surrounded by his family.

He left behind Nicky and their two daughters Georgia, aged five, and Phoebe, 13, as well as two daughters from his previous marriage.

Nicky, from Andover, said: “When I got the call to say Jay had a heart attack I rushed to hospital.

“He was in intensive care and we weren’t allowed to see him for seven hours.

“When we finally did, I was in shock. I had expected to see him sitting up in bed, but he looked awful and was connected up to loads of machines.

“Having to tell our girls that their daddy had passed away was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. I couldn’t believe Jay was gone; we had been together 17 years.

Machine technician Nicky decided she needed to make a change in her life, so swapped takeaways for home-cooked meals and taking up cycling, helping her lose three stone in weight.

“Everything in my life has changed since we lost Jay. We were both quite unhealthy and it scared me that if I didn’t make a change, our children could end up losing both their parents.”

And on June 16 she will ride 54 miles in the British Heart Foundation’s (BHF) London to Brighton Bike Ride for the second time.

The 44-year-old added: “I decided to take up cycling last year, with some encouragement from my sister. I went from cycling seven miles at the weekend to 20 miles. I love it, it helps clear my head.

“I took on London to Brighton with my son Thomas last year and we will be doing it again this year along with my brother and brother-in-law. Having my family there alongside me for support will make it even more special.

“I know Jay will be cheering us on.”

Nicky will be cheered on by her family and friends.

She wants to give back to BHF and to help fund the charity’s research, to help keep more families together and stop such a tragedy happening to someone else.

Roshan Teeluck, head of events at BHF, said: “Without the dedication and commitment of people like Nicky, we wouldn’t be able to fund research that has broken new ground, revolutionised treatments and improved the lives of millions of people in the UK. We’re extremely proud of her achievements and grateful for her generosity and support.”

To donate, go to, justgiving.com/fundraising/nicola-mcgovern2.