When Ron Gains began suffering from persistent headaches, he simply put them down to his eyesight and resolved to get his glasses prescription checked.
But the true source of the pain became clear when Ron, aged 50, collapsed of a massive brain haemorrhage during a normal day at work.
Ron, service manager at a car dealership, was rushed to hospital where medics discovered he had suffered a burst aneurysm.
It was later decided that he needed a bypass operation to restore blood supply to the brain - a 15-hour procedure that, despite the risks, has proved successful.
Now Ron and his wife Jayne have been reunited with Dr Umang Patel, the surgeon who saved his life - and charity events are being planned to help more of his patients.
Jayne, 47, said she remembered receiving a phone call at around 11.45am last October from one of Ron’s colleagues, who said her husband had suddenly collapsed.
“Ron later said he knew he was going to fall down, so he lay down on the ground,” Jane said.
“Then he doesn’t remember anything else until the end of November.
“Some of the people with him at work said that he was holding his head and screaming.”
A CT scan was carried out at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield which confirmed the aneurysm, followed by an angiogram which examined Ron’s blood vessels.
“They said the aneurysm was on the artery which supplies the brain stem - the place that tells you when to breathe,” said Jayne.
“He couldn’t stay as he was, because it was very likely to bleed again.”
She said the effects of the haemorrhage meant her husband appeared to be ‘in a world of his own’.
“It was awful to watch him, particularly as he didn’t even know we were there. He thought he was still in work, as that’s where he’d had the collapse - he kept talking about exhaust emissions. We didn’t know if the damage was going to be permanent.”
Ron’s operation involved detaching a brain artery at one end, and rerouting it beyond the aneurysm.
“We were told the operation would take 18 hours - he went down to the theatre at 8am and the surgeon told me it was finished at half past 11 that night,” said Jayne.
“There was such a huge sense of relief the next day. When he woke up he winked at me. I was seriously imagining that I would be a widow.
“One out of five people who suffer a brain haemorrhage don’t make it before the ambulance arrives.”
Ron said his treatment was ‘fantastic’.
“Mr Patel and his team are absolutely unbelievable. I’m eternally grateful to him. Without him I wouldn’t be here now,” he added.
Ron said Jayne and their son Chris, 21, gave him the motivation to make the best possible recovery.
“I was always going to come back, there was nothing that was going to stop me.”
A bike ride is being held in Ron’s honour on June 14. Around 27 participants are planning to cycle 40 miles off road from Pickering to Scarborough, via Dalby Forest on the North Yorkshire Moors.
All proceeds will go to the Sheffield Hospitals Charity, which provides funding for equipment at the Hallamshire’s Neurovascular Department. So far £1,160 has been raised.
n Visit www.justgiving.com/Ron-Gains to sponsor.