Smithy: I feared the worst

Tommy Smith is recovering well in Fazakerly Hospital after having a heart attack. He now faces a triple heart bypass operation.

"I was terrified. I suddenly felt a pain in my chest and thought: I'll have a rest," he said.

"I sat down and looked at my watch. It was around three o'clock. I thought I'll give it another five minutes. I put my head in my hands and the next thing I looked at my watch and it was a quarter past three.

"I thought: 'Where did a quarter of an hour go?' There must have been something wrong with me because I lost 15 minutes of my life.

"I went into the house and told Sue, my wife, I wasn't feeling so good. I had this terrible, burning pain in my chest. She was on the phone to Darren, our son, who came round. The first thing he did was to ring the ambulance. When they came, they immediately said: 'You have had a heart attack.'

"I couldn't believe it. I thought I was as fit as I could be at the age of 62. Anybody who has had a heart attack knows it is terrifying. I just didn't know what to do.

"When I was younger, when someone said they had had a heart attack, more often than not they died a couple of days later because there was nothing they could do for them.

"I must thank the paramedics who got there so quickly. If it had not have been for them, who knows what might have happened. The people here in hospital are magnificent, too.

"I've been in a week now and I feel an awful lot better. I know that shortly I'll be going in for a triple by-pass. I am not really looking forward to it – but then again I am.

"I just want to get the operation done and start living and enjoy life again."

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