A DAD-of-two given just six months to live after being diagnosed with heart failure is enjoying life against all odds after undergoing surgery and taking on a specialist cardiac fitness regime.
Former newsagent Paul Keyworth was just 44 when he started feeling breathless while delivering papers.
Paul, dad to Mark and Jacklyn, said: “I thought the breathlessness was just due to a chest infection, but I had it checked out and after a short time a scan confirmed heart failure.
“It was then I was told I only had six months to live.
“I was in shock. I was only in my 40s, and always thought I had led a healthy life.
“It wasn’t time for me to go yet. I have two kids and my wife Christine to look after.”
Paul, from Pitsmoor, had always kept fit and active, never smoked, and rarely drank.
Doctors initially used medication and Paul retired from work to help his life expectancy increase to five years.
But now, nine years on, Paul is 53 and still here.
He underwent cardiac surgery at the Northern General Hospital two years ago and has been working with a team there since last year.
He was also placed on a GP referral scheme for a programme of specialist cardiac fitness sessions at Concord Sports Centre in Shiregreen, where he works with expert instructor Dave Birds twice a week to maintain his fitness.
Paul said: “I believe I’ve had a second chance. I am so grateful for the fantastic work the Chesterman Wing at the Northern General has done for me, and the ongoing support from Dave and my GPs at the Sheffield Medical Centre.”
Dave, crowned personal trainer of the year at the National Fitness Awards last year, said: “I’ve got nothing but admiration for what Paul has achieved with his hard work and commitment.
“To think he only had six months to live, and yet almost 10 years later he is still here and visiting the gym twice a week.”