Paul Whapham was on an early morning run near his home in the Morriston area of Swansea when he started to experience severe pain in his chest.
The 42-year-old, who runs two to three times a week, managed to contact his wife Laura who rushed to get him to Morriston Hospital.
Following his arrival, he was taken into theatre where staff found one of his arteries was totally blocked.
“I went for a morning run at 7am as I normally do and about five minutes in I had a massive pain in my chest,” Paul, who is CEO of Hockey Wales, said.
“My chest felt tight and then I was on my hands and knees on the road.
“Initially it was a bit tight but then it felt like it was being squeezed, like a vice. The pain was incredible.
“I managed to use my watch to phone my wife. Luckily, I was only five minutes away, so she could take me in the car to the hospital.
“She ran in and called for paramedics, who quickly came and took over.”
After initially being assessed in the Emergency Department, Paul was taken to the catheterisation laboratory at the hospital’s Cardiac Centre where he underwent a procedure to unclog his blocked artery.
He added: “Everyone came running over to me and quickly realised I was having a heart attack.
“They discovered I had a full blockage in my left anterior descending artery, which I had to have removed in the catheter lab.
“They took me down and carried out emergency angioplasty. They removed the blockage and then I also had to have a stent fitted.
“I was told I also had pulmonary oedema, where my lungs were filling with fluid.
“Because it happened early in the morning, staff had to come in from home to do the procedure.”
Paul then spent the following six days recovering in the coronary unit before being allowed to return home.
He will be attending an after-care service at the hospital as part of his ongoing rehabilitation.
Now, he has thanked staff for the care he received during his time in hospital.
“It was a bit of a shock as I’m not overweight and I try to keep myself fit so I had no risk factors,” Paul said.
“It was a shock for everybody really, including my family.
“The care I received was brilliant. I can’t speak highly enough of the staff.
“I am also really thankful to my wife for bringing me to hospital because it was a shock for her as well.
“It was pretty tense for a couple of hours.
“It’s reassuring to know that when you need the Emergency Department, the staff are there for you.
“The staff there were just awesome, and I just want to say a big thank you to all of them.”
(Lead image: Swansea Bay NHS)
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