Boxing legend Brendan Ingle joked he is ‘too busy to pop his clogs’ – after battling back from the brink of death.
And the 73-year-old champion trainer, who was paralysed for three days by a rare form of epilepsy, even threatened to go straight back to his gym in Wincobank after being discharged from hospital last night.
Shrugging off any suggestion of retiring – or even taking things more easily – he said: “I don’t know when I’ll go back to the gym – it all depends on what time I go back home!
“I’m too busy to pop my clogs, there is too much for me to do.
“Talking to people and being involved keeps me sharp.”
Former boxer Brendan has no memory of being rushed into hospital a week ago, nor of the three days doctors fought to save his life.
Speaking to The Star from his bedside at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield, the grandfather-of-13 said: “When I woke up on Saturday morning I thought, ‘What am I doing here?’ It was a shock to realise I was in hospital and how ill I had been.
“I can’t remember exactly what the doctors said but I was just glad to be OK, and that I was still here.”
Doctors initially feared Brendan – who began to feel tired, thirsty and ill last Tuesday – had suffered a stroke. His distraught family were told to fear the worst as his condition deteriorated.
But when Brendan’s body was gripped by another seizure, and he moved an arm, medics realised there must be another explanation for his mystery illness.
They eventually diagnosed Todd’s Paresis, a form of epilepsy which causes temporary paralysis and can be controlled with medication.
Brendan – who was visited round the clock by dozens of boxers he had trained over the years – said he wanted to thank hospital staff for their first-class care, as well as the many Sheffield supporters who have sent ‘get-well-soon’ messages.
He said: “The service has been absolutely fantastic. People don’t realise how lucky they are living in Sheffield to have these hospitals.
“Staff here have always had a smile on their faces. You want to say thank you all the time because they make you want to get better.
“It’s been marvellous to see so many people rolling up from all over the place. Some came all the way from Bradford and some I hadn’t seen for years.
“In the past few days I have thought to myself – and this has always been a saying of mine – you should never take anyone for granted.”
Nurse practitioner Sam Coggeran said of the ward’s most popular patient: “Clearly Brendan has been quite poorly but he has been a pleasure to nurse and a star patient. If we had more Brendans our job would be a lot easier. We will miss him, but everybody is glad he is doing so well.”