This Morning: Dr Chris explains symptoms of a heart attack
Characterised by a cut-off blood supply to your heart, heart attacks are often portrayed as emergencies that strike out of nowhere.
However, many patients often report subtle warning signs in the weeks leading up to the event.
John Chamberlain, 53, also experienced a red flag sign a week before the incident, but he put it down to “being really unfit”.
The footballer, from Blackpool, Lancashire, said: “I started to feel a bit of chest tightness going up and down stairs, but I just put that down to being really unfit.
“I used to play football Monday, Wednesday and Thursday but now I only play Thursday so I thought my fitness was just getting terrible.
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“Apart from me feeling unfit, there was nothing pointing to it whatsoever.”
On the day when the emergency struck, John had already scored four goals in the first half of the match when he noticed that his chest got tight and he started to feel dizzy.
As he was substituted eight minutes into the second half, he also started feeling out of breath.
Dizziness, shortness of breath and tightness in the chest describe some of the tell-tale signs of a heart attack, according to the NHS.
The health service shares the main symptoms of the emergency can include:
- Chest pain (a feeling of pressure, heaviness, tightness or squeezing across your chest)
- Pain in other parts of the body (it can feel as if the pain is spreading from your chest to your arms jaw, neck, back and tummy)
- Feeling lightheaded or dizzy
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling sick (nausea) or being sick (vomiting)
- An overwhelming feeling of anxiety (similar to a panic attack)
- Coughing or wheezing.
After the symptoms appeared, the father-of-one sat down and blacked out completely.
His pals Bethanne Billian, 32, and David Miller, 43, thought he was joking at first when he collapsed and made a “snoring noise”.
Fortunately, they sprang into action, performed CPR on him, and used a defibrillator when they realised the noise was a “death rattle”.
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John said: “At that moment in time, I was dead and I’m not breathing.
“They just brought me back to life. I’m humbled and gobsmacked that they’ve been able to do it.
“Honestly, I’m so humbled and thankful for them bringing me back.”
John was then rushed to Blackpool Victoria Hospital and had a stent fitted in his heart less than four hours after the medical emergency.
He was discharged six days later and doctors explained that a blood clot triggered the attack.
The 53-year-old credits playing the match to still being alive because if the heart attack occurred anywhere else, he would’ve “been dead” as “nobody would have found” him.
John, who runs the football league Not Match Fit, said: “If I would have been driving to football in my car or if it happened any other place, then I would have been dead.
“But it was at football where we’ve got nurses, first aiders and people who are confident enough to do CPR on me and know to do it straight away.”
His mate, David, said that he was in “complete and utter relief” when John woke up and is “really glad” that he survived.
David added: “I think he’s a very lucky lad – I think if he hadn’t had gone to football then he would have died.”
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