A man who took a blow to the head said it saved his life when tonsillitis caused his heart to start failing.
Marathon runner Alan Day developed a throat infection which soon turned very serious.
The 30-year-old from Stretford, Manchester, needing life-saving treatment to help his heart pump blood around his body.
But he only went into hospital after a nasty bump on the head caused him to loose consciousness.
He told the Manchester Evening News he feels lucky he was admitted as otherwise his heart failure may have gone unnoticed until it was too late.
He has vowed to thank the medical teams at both Manchester Royal Infirmary and Wythenshawe Hospital by fundraising for the hospitals’ charity Manchester Foundation Trust Charity.
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Alan, who is running the Virtual London Marathon for them both, said: “I can’t thank the hospital staff enough for everything they did.
“I thought I was just getting checked out for a cut on the head, but I’m so grateful they took the time to look over me properly.
“When they checked me over they realised there was something seriously wrong with my heart.
“I feel very lucky that things happened the way they did. I could have had a very different outcome, but it’s too strange to think about that.”
Alan was with his girlfriend Esther Jimenez, had been out on a run in May 2017 when he started to feel a bit under the weather.
As it was a hot day, he put it down to a bit of dehydration and not coping with the heat very well. When he still felt unwell at work, he again put it down to feeling run down.
Alan, who works as a civil engineer, said: “I barely slept that night, feeling worse in the morning, so I had the next day off sick.
“My throat was hurting a lot and after going the whole day with no improvement or rest we went to the walk-in clinic at Manchester Royal Infirmary and they diagnosed tonsillitis.
“They gave me a prescription for antibiotics and the next morning I went for a walk to pick them up, hoping it might clear up overnight.
“Then in the early afternoon I got up to go to the bathroom, lost consciousness and hit my head on the way down.
“When I came round my first thought was that I’d gone to sleep on the hallway floor, even though that didn’t make any sense.
“My girlfriend was bent over me on the phone to the ambulance service and I realised something wasn’t right.
“I was bleeding from my head so they wanted to take me into hospital to get me checked out.
“At Manchester Royal Infirmary I was really out of it, but still just thought I was feverish from the tonsillitis infection and lack of sleep for two days.
“They told me the good news was the cut on my head was very small, but the bad news was there was something wrong with my heart and I wouldn’t be leaving hospital for a while.
“They told me I was lucky to hit my head and come to hospital when I did, otherwise it might not have been spotted until it was too late.
“At my age and in decent health it’s something I would never even suspect, but they’d given me an all-over check just to be sure.
“At the time I was fairly dazed and out of it, but it started to sink in that the infection was doing a lot more to my body than I’d first thought.”
Tests and scans revealed a viral infection had reached Alan’s heart, greatly reducing its ability to pump blood around his body.
Doctors explained it was working significantly under its normal capacity and he’d need a pump inserted into his chest to give his heart some support as it was beginning to fail.
The reduced pumping capacity meant that the body was trying to lose fluid from the vessels anywhere it could, such as into the lungs, causing them to fill and drastically reduce in capacity.
To sponsor Alan visit https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/AlanDay8