TRIBUTES were today being paid to Leeds charity stalwart Alec Bloom after his death at the age of 87.
Mr Bloom, the founder of the Hospital Heartbeat Appeal, passed away on Friday following a period of illness.
He set up the appeal after undergoing a heart bypass operation at Leeds’s Killingbeck Hospital in 1990.
And by the time its work was wound down in 2012, it had raised more than £3m for heart patients across Yorkshire. A spokeswoman for the appeal told the Yorkshire Evening Post today: “Alec was a remarkable character and he is going to be much missed.
“He was a real go-getter and truly tenacious when it came to raising funds for the charity.”
Linda Pollard, chair of the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, added: “Alec Bloom was an extremely well-known fundraiser for cardiac services here in Leeds and staff at all our hospitals are greatly saddened to hear of his death.
“Over the last two decades he was the face of the Heartbeat Appeal and inspired their drive to buy cardiac equipment for hospitals in Leeds, personally helping to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds for us.
“Thanks to his efforts the equipment the charity has funded is in everyday use at Leeds General Infirmary and is continuing to help us deliver lifesaving care for heart patients from across the region. This is a fitting legacy to a remarkable man.”
Affectionately known as Mr Heartbeat, Mr Bloom was awarded the MBE in 2003.
Five years later he was awarded the prestigious Order of Mercy medal, which is presented by the League of Mercy Foundation to honour the work of public-spirited volunteers in the UK.
Mr Bloom, who lived in Shadwell, leaves a wife, Miriam, and two sons, David and Gary.