‘I owe them everything for saving me’ says Chesterfield heart-attack victim

John Wilkinson suffered a heart attack on April 21st in 2011 before being taken to the Emergency Department at Chesterfield Royal Hospital. The attack was so severe that he was rushed to Sheffield Northern General where he was in surgery within three quarters of an hour. Pictured with  cardiac rehab nurse Sara Adams, right.
John Wilkinson suffered a heart attack on April 21st in 2011 before being taken to the Emergency Department at Chesterfield Royal Hospital. The attack was so severe that he was rushed to Sheffield Northern General where he was in surgery within three quarters of an hour. Pictured with cardiac rehab nurse Sara Adams, right.
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JOHN Wilkinson is a fitness fanatic.

He cycles 50 miles a day, loves hiking through the Peak District countryside, and is training hard for a half marathon.

What makes his active lifestyle incredible is that, little over a year ago, John, aged 47, was nearly killed by a massive heart attack.

“I don’t remember much about it,” said John. “It was all a blur and all I remember is waking up in hospital.”

John was rushed to Sheffield’s Northern General Hospital and was in surgery within 45 minutes.

He was later taken back to the Chesterfield home he shares with wife Helen and their two children, and for the first few weeks was too scared to leave the house.

“It completely floored me and I had no confidence whatsoever,” he said.

“When I went home I struggled to venture out of the front door.

“If I went for a walk and couldn’t see my car I panicked.

“I would wonder how the paramedics would find me if I had another attack.”

But cardiac rehabilitation nurses in Chesterfield helped turn his life around with a programme of exercise and confidence building to help get his life back.

“I owe them everything,” he said.

“At first I was dubious and wanted nothing to do with it but the way they spoke to me, they made me feel that I could do anything - and that’s why I’m doing this for them.”

John and Helen are fundraising for the Chesterfield heart attack rehabilitation service .

On September 30 he will take part in the Robin Hood Half Marathon in Nottingham.

Donate at www.charitychoice.co.uk/fundraiser/john-helenwilkinson/robin-hood-half-marathon/1138