Tony Smith, now 33, said his wife kissed him goodbye fearing he wouldn’t come out of surgery alive after he ‘died’ during his fourth heart attack at the age of just 32.
The father-of-two said he suffered his first cardiac arrest when he woke up at 4am to feed his 18-month-old son Bailey.
Tony collapsed into his kitchen cooker and was rushed to hospital – where his wife Kay had to “wait to find out if he got a pacemaker or would be taken to the coroners”.
But two months after the scare, the cause for Tony’s series of heart attacks still remains a mystery.
Speaking about the incident, Tony, of Hull, East Yorks., said: “I can remember feeling sick and then I can remember waking up surrounded by paramedics and my neighbours and they were saying they thought I had a heart attack.
“I had all the checks before going into the ambulance to Hull Royal where I had another heart attack.
“I think it was during the fourth heart attack, at Hull Royal, that I died. I was gone for about a minute.”
Tony collapsed into his kitchen cooker after waking up at 4am to feed his son
After Tony was rushed to hospital in Hull and underwent emergency surgery, he flat-lined twice while his wife and two young kids sat waiting outside the theatre.
He said doctors believe the cardiac arrest was caused by an underlying heart condition but are still looking into the causes.
Luckily, the farmer had lost 22lbs in the months before the scare – as doctors told him they would have been unable to complete the life-saving surgery as quickly had he been his previous weight.
He said: “I obviously didn’t expect anything like that to happen at 32.
“I didn’t know of any heart problems, but my mum has a heart murmur and the doctors now think I had underlying heart condition which caused it.
“My heart just shut down – I take one day at a time now.
“Now I get to see my children grow up, be with my wife. I can’t thank them enough.”
Kay said she bid a tearful farewell to her husband before he went into surgery on May 26, fearing it might be the last time she saw him alive.
She said: "There cannot be anything worse than time spent having to say goodbye to a family member, to your loved one, and having your kids asking, 'where has daddy gone?'
"He's a farmer so he has always been very active. He'd just lost the weight so you don't think it would happen to someone like that.
"His heart rate at one point went down to 21 – we had to wait to find out if he got a pacemaker or would be taken to the coroners."
Kay told how she said goodbye to her husband, fearing he wouldn't make it
Kay added: "The surgeon said that at the weight Tony was he wouldn't have been able to do the operation as an emergency and he could have died.
"We had amazing support at the CMU and from the British Heart Foundation.
"But it's really tough. He was back at work two weeks after it happened and apart from an eight week GP check-up, we only get follow-up help from British Heart Foundation."
The couple have set up a GoFundMe page and are now trying to raise money for Hull CMU at Castle Hill Hospital and the British Heart Foundation to help families affected by heart attacks.
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