Back from the dead to splash out for hospice

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A swimmer who was brought back from the dead by his best friend is kicking back into action to raise cash for charity.

Nigel Woods, despite being super fit, suffered a near fatal heart attack while swimming with friends at Wolverton pool at the age of 40.

“I remember getting pains in my chest and feeling I couldn’t breathe. I got out and then apparently collapsed onto the ground,” he recalls.

Boyhood friend Mark Booth rushed to investigate, only to find Nigel was not breathing and his heart had stopped beating.

“Mark’s a trained osteopath so he knew about first aid. He said he just shook me around a bit but I think he did more than that,” said Nigel, who lives in Olney.

“Whatever he did, he managed to get my heart beating again and get me breathing on my own before the ambulance arrived.”

Twelve years on the pair, who met when they started Ousedale secondary school, are still best buddies.

Following surgery to correct a previously unknown defect in his main artery, Nigel has continued to fitness train with Mark, who runs Bodylimits Clinic in Newport Pagnell. They even ran triathlon company Mad Cow Events together.

Now, after reading about the financial plight of Willen Hospice, Nigel is planning to swim 17 km across Lake Windermere to help the charity.

People can sponsor him through www.justgiving.com/Nigel-Woods2.

Meanwhile, he will approach Mark to start the sponsorship ball rolling.

“Technically I owe him as he saved my life. But he can still sponsor me!” he said.