A MATHS tutor who was told to expect a heart attack "at any moment" because he was so unfit is now part of a team running from Britain to the Yemen and back.

Afruz Miah, 47, is aiming to run just under a tenth of the 4,000 mile distance – less than a year after a doctor told him he needed to change his lifestyle.

The father-of-four, who lives in Oldham, now hits the road to run 12km a day, but things haven't always been so easy for him.

Mr Miah said: "I was told by my GP that I was developing hypertension and had the choice of medication for the rest of my life or getting fit. When my wife heard the news, she was shaking.

"I knew something needed to change.

"I didn't realise how serious it was until the doctor said I had two option – I either got given medication or I had three months to change my lifestyle.

"At first it was difficult, I was sitting in the house at almost 15 stone and some days I had real pain and I thought I can't do this, but my family and friends were very supportive."

Since he started running, Mr Miah has tried to get more and more people to take up the activity – gathering around 60 runners to take part in his challenge.

Inspired by his scare, the University of Bolton graduate will be raising money to help local children with serious heart conditions through Lagan's Foundation – an organisation that visits families of sick children to offer their parents or carers vital respite.

The Global Relief Trust, Maggie's Centre in Oldham, and Just Breathe will also receive money from the fundraiser.

Mr Miah added: “I think Lagan’s is a fantastic charity, but I am also mindful that children in places such as the Yemen don’t even receive healthcare, let alone the vital support that Lagan’s offers to support parents.

"That is why aside from promoting this good cause, I am also hoping to raise cash for children in Yemen, who are suffering from malnutrition and hypothermia.

"The idea that a newborn child can die from the cold horrifies me, and that’s why some of the money we collect will go to the Global Relief Trust, who are on the ground in the Yemen.

"If you think we have it tough how do you think it is for families in a country going through war?

"I'm going to run anyway so I might as well use my passion to encourage people and raise some money to help those less fortunate."

All of the runners helping Mr Miah to reach his goal will need to complete their additions by December 31.

Carren Bell, who founded Lagan’s Foundation after her baby daughter Lagan died from a heart condition, praised Mr Miah for his kindness.

She said: “We are determined to help as many needy families as possible and Afruz is doing so much to raise our profile and break down barriers of communication.

"The only thing parents have to do is contact us and we are there to offer everything from sitting up at night to ensure a child is sleeping safely to organising feeds to help a baby, young person or child, who is not getting the correct nutrition.”

Visit facebook.com/afruz.miah.50 to follow the challenge's progress, givebrite.com/virtual-6080km-run/afruz-8615 to donate to GRT, or lagans.org.uk to donate to the local charity.