A young Fylde coast footballer is set to complete a remarkable recovery – after suffering a heart attack at the age of just 22.
Louis Shields, of Woodland Grove, Poulton, is expected to play his first competitive match for Poulton Town FC, on Saturday.
It comes after he suffered a cardiac arrest on August 22 which left him in a coma for five days.
Gym worker Louis underwent an operation to fix a problem with his heart at the Lancashire Cardiac Centre at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.
But it was only thanks to the quick thinking of his girlfriend Kirsten Jones and mother Karen McAuley that Louis lived to tell the tale.
He says he has no recollection of what happened and only knows what he has been told by his family.
He said: “My girlfriend tells me she woke up because I was next to her having a fit of some kind.
“She was scared and ran for my mum’s help.
“When they both got back to me I was blue from my head to my chest.
“To them I was already dead.
“But my mum knows CPR and carried it out on me straight away while my girlfriend called the ambulance.
“They used the defibrillator on me and rushed me to hospital. I was in the intensive care unit an in a coma for five days. I don’t remember any of it.”
He added: “I don’t drink, smoke or take any kind of drugs, I like to keep fit and consider myself to be healthy.
“When I was told what had happened to me I could hardly believe it.
“You don’t think of this kind of thing happening to you when you’re young.”
Staff at the cardiac centre found Louis had an abnormal ‘electrical connection’ between the upper and lower chambers in the heart, which was capable of conduction at a very fast rate and this was the cause of his cardiac arrest.
Consultant Cardiologist Dr Shajil Chalil said: “I performed a keyhole intervention procedure through the right groin to cauterise the abnormal conduction channel.
“I am pleased to see him back to his normal self and wish him the very best for the future.”
Louis said he is amazed by the care provided by the team at the hospital.
He added: “The work done there is really unbelievable. I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for everyone involved.
“From the intensive care staff to the people on the cardiac ward and the doctor that put right the condition that caused this in the first place, I can’t thank them enough.
“It all goes to show that you can’t take your health seriously enough.
“When you’re young you don’t expect to have a cardiac arrest, probably most young people don’t really know what that is.
“Yet it happened to me and now, thanks to the cardiac centre, I get my life back and can get back to training and playing football again.”