COMPLETING the Milltown Races Oldham Half Marathon was a personal triumph for Ian Longmuir who admitted he is lucky to be alive.
The life of the 49-year-old from Watersheddings has undergone a “complete lifestyle change” after three heart attacks led to a triple heart by-pass in 2016.
Ian, who had never previously done any exercise other than walking his dog, admitted: “If I had not changed my lifestyle, it would have been a slap in the face for the NHS and all those who helped me.
“I consider myself very lucky and blessed because I know people who had one chance and never made it. I treat every day as a bonus.
“The cardiac surgeon’s notes said ‘he was a very lucky man’. The way he described it was that our arteries are the thickness of a pen, but the one that had been keeping me alive was thickness of a piece of cotton.”
Ian, who works in sales and purchase procurement for an electrical firm, was admitted into hospital after a weekend of experiencing chest pains.
When they persisted on the Monday he rang 111 and was sent to the Royal Oldham Hospital for blood tests.
Shortly afterwards he was rushed to Manchester Royal Infirmary where a crash team was waiting for him and 20 minutes later was told he needed a triple heart bypass.
He learned he had had three heart attacks, the first two he put down to a “bad case of indigestion”.
Ian was in intensive care for three days, five days later had open heart surgery and six days after that was released.
The Greater Manchester Run was held while Ian was in hospital which prevented his family from visiting.
“I vowed if I was still here 12 months later, I would do the 10k, something I did in 53min 23sec,” he explained as he raised £700 for the British Heart Foundation.
Ian’s cardiac rehab started in 2016 programme at the Royal Oldham Hospital and, after a 12 week-programme, he was referred to Oldham Community Leisure’s cardiac rehab programme, which lasted a further 16-weeks.
After this Ian carried on using the Oldham Leisure Centre gym and also started the OCL run programme at Radclyffe Athletics Centre.
“I started in January 2017 with a couch to 5k and from there progressed to the 10k,” says Ian who says he is fitter than he has ever been having shed four stones. He previously weighed in at 16st.
“Having gone from no exercise, I am now loving it and it has given me a new lease of life.”