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Thursday, 24 July 2014

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Heart attack victim thanks townspeople

A DOUBLE heart attack victim from Millom has thanked townspeople for their support after he fell ill while on holiday.

Chris Smith, of Albert Street, had six stents fitted during an emergency operation while holidaying in Spain with wife Anne.

The 66-year-old suffered a heart attack shortly after arriving in Gibraltar.

He said: “I started getting pains in my chest but I just thought it was indigestion.

“But no matter what I took I couldn’t get rid of the pain.

“I was still badly the following night so I went to doctors and they told me I’d had a heart attack.”

Mr Smith was then rushed to hospital in Marbella for further treatment.

After a short recovery period in hospital, he suffered a second heart attack within minutes of the doctors removing his monitoring equipment.

Furthering his ordeal, the hospital’s angiogram machine – used to look inside coronary arteries – broke and he was transferred to a cardiac hospital in Malaga for his operation, a week after arriving in Spain.

While undergoing the operation, Mr Smith watched the procedure on screen.

He said: “I watched the operation as it was happening.

“As the stents went in you could see all the veins start to open up again.”

After a further week’s recovery in the Malaga hospital, a British doctor flew out to Spain to give Mr Smith a check up, before he and his wife could return home.

Despite being originally sceptical about receiving treatment abroad, Mr Smith said his care was second to none.

He said: “I was worried about the care but you only had to see the hospital to see how well organised and efficient they were.

“The only hardship was translating.”

Since arriving back in Millom in mid September, the former Sellafield, and latterly Somerfield worker, has been inundated with good wishes as he continues to recover.

Mr Smith said: “We’ve had 30 cards from Millom people and we’d just like to thank them for their best wishes and their concern.

“I’ve lost some of my confidence since the incident. But I’m still bubbly, it has just stopped me doing certain things.”

The couple were due to fly out to Australia in February, but have decided against taking the trip.

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