Dentist cheats death to save lives

A dentist who underwent lifesaving neurosurgery following a brain haemorrhage is cycling for other people’s lives.

Fiona Beddis, who works as an honorary clinical lecturer at Newcastle dental hospital, is taking part in next month’s 150-mile mammoth cycle challenge – Ride for the ’Wave – which goes from Glasgow to Newcastle and raises funds for The Northern Brainwave Appeal.

In August 2006, the dentist was a 40-year-old joint partner with her husband Alan at the Grainger Park dental practice in the west end of Newcastle when she collapsed unconscious, having suffered a brain haemorrhage.

She was rushed to Newcastle general hospital where she underwent the lifesaving neurosurgery.

Fiona said: ‘The way I see it, I died in my surgery that day and now I am living on borrowed time and I want to enjoy every minute of it, but I also want to try to make a difference.

‘My driving licence was withdrawn for six months following my brain haemorrhage because of the risk of fits. Five months later, when I was fully able to walk properly, I jumped on my bicycle to get around and the idea for the bike ride was born.’

She added: ‘If it were not for the outstanding skill of Professor Mendelow and the care provided by his team of doctors and nurses, I would not be alive today.’

Fiona and her husband have since sold their business and she now works part-time as an honorary clinical lecture in the restorative department at Newcastle dental hospital.

The cycling challenge takes place 16-18 October starting in Glasgow – Fiona’s birthplace – and finishing in Newcastle, where, she says, she was ‘reborn’!

Fiona will be joined by seven other cyclists in the Ride for the ’Wave – dentist Valerie Bleau, orthodontists Helen Stephenson and Dr Sarah Roland, dental managing consultant Sheila Scott, engineer Alan Tuddenham, managing director Rob Youngman and Fiona’s brother Gordon Peden.

To sponsor Fiona and her team, please send cheques to Fiona Beddis, Two Cottages, Stelling Farm, Newton, Stocksfield, Northumberland NE43 7UU or visit

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