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A fitness fanatic who had a “funny feeling” in his chest while shopping was told by doctors that without an emergency operation he would only have three months to live.
Carl Clark from West Derby was given the shocking news after being diagnosed with a serious heart condition in 2016.
A few months earlier, the 50-year-old had experienced a “funny feeling” in his chest while walking to the shops and when riding his bike.
The former Jaguar Land Rover employee, who now works for Liverpool Council, said he would sometimes feel out of breath just doing mild exercise.
Carl said: “There used to be an advert on television of a man cutting his grass and suddenly getting chest pains. I felt like him.
“I was working seventy hours a week and the days were pretty long and stressful.”
After making an appointment with his GP, he was told his health would benefit if he lost some weight.
He said: “I’ve always trained, keep fit by playing squash, badminton, football and boxing, and at 6ft I’m a steady 15 stone.
“I like the odd pizza and Chinese takeaway but I enjoy making home-made soups and regularly eat oily fish like sardines.”
He said he was given a diet advice sheet by the practice nurse that Carl said looked like it had come “straight from the 1970s” and told to lose a couple of stone in weight.
He said: “I started going out on my bike more, pushing myself, hoping to lose some weight. But my chest pains felt worse and my breathing got heavier.”
After attending an appointment to have further tests at the Royal Liverpool Hospital, Carl was given the news that rocked him.
Consultant preventative cardiologist Dr Scott Murray, of Venturi Cardiology told Carl he needed emergency six way bypass surgery, the most intricate heart bypass surgery which includes all of the major arteries feeding the heart.
He said: “I was told I was a dead man walking and that I only had three months to live.”
Carl added: “He was completely straight with me, telling me that unless I had immediate heart bypass surgery I wouldn’t be here in three months.
“I stared crying when he told me that but I trusted him and valued his directness.”
Through his consultation, Carl also revealed that heart problems ran in his family with both his grandfather and his mum’s cousin dying due to heart disease.
Following the intricate surgery, he spent four days in hospital and was told he was only allowed home when he was well enough to climb the hospital stairs.
A thankful Carl added: “Today, hardly anyone knows I’ve had a heart bypass because I just like to crack on with life.
“Before Covid-19 I was doing high intensity spinning classes five nights a week but now I walk my dog lots, go out on my bike and play football with friends.
“I’m on statins for life and I take a daily aspirin and a proton pump inhibitor, which is a medication that reduces stomach acid.
“I keep in touch with Scott and if I feel a bit nervous about myself, like I did when the first Lockdown started and I wasn’t sure if I needed to shield, I’ll send him a text.
“He saved my life and I’m incredibly grateful to him.”