John Bradbury-Sharp, 66, was at home with his wife Julie when he woke up with severe chest pains at around 6am on Tuesday, August 21.
Within a few minutes of Julie dialling 999 a Yorkshire Ambulance Crew arrived, driving him to Harrogate District Hospital and later James Cook Hospital in Middlesborough, undergoing several hours of surgery for two stents to be placed in his blocked arteries.
The couple say they were amazed by his treatment, with John able to return home by Saturday and look forward to his return to the community choir group, Knot Another Choir, where he serves as treasurer.
Julie said: “Everybody in both hospitals were so kind and sweet, wanting to be helpful and explain what was happening.
“You had this feeling that even when we were on our own and chatting you knew there were things being sorted out behind us, whether that was a bed being booked in Middlesborough or what drugs to give him. It was a quiet professionalism, we were amazed to be honest.”
Both Julie and John also paid tribute to the young ambulance technician who helped transport John on the night, the incident being one of his first calls of the day.
Avoiding smoking and drinking, along with walking regularly, John’s heart attack was unexpected, his surgeon later telling him that his healthy lifestyle likely delayed him having one sooner. Both his father and grand-father died as a result of heart attacks.
While he was nervous after almost 50 years without having to be treated in a hospital John said the leap in treatment gave him comfort.
He said: “The only other person I knew who had a heart attack was a work colleague in the late seventies, and he was off work for months because they didn’t have things like stents. The treatment has changed so much.
“I was nervous initially, although it was scary once I was over the initial shock you realise you are in a good system. We couldn’t have had a better experience, and I am so grateful to everyone for what they did.”
Alongside the work of the NHS the couple’s family and friends have rallied around them. While their living room is filled with get well cards they also recently celebrated with a family reunion, their son, daughter in law and granddaughter travelling from the Falklands.
It was an emotional moment for the couple, Julie said: “It was quite traumatic when one day you think you’re going to lose your husband. I try to have a positive mental attitude,and I was trying to joke around with everyone but I had bottled it all up. It isn’t often I am like that.
“We married later on in life, but we have had a good life and have done some lovely things together, along with having great family support. Life is just good, and that is why it is so nice that we can say thank you, from the heart surgeons to the nurses and ambulance crew.”