HE’S lucky to be alive and he’s got experts at Southampton’s Wessex Cardiac Centre to thank for saving him after a massive heart attack.

Roger Savage, from Timsbury, is now appealing for people to support the Wessex Heartbeat charity, which is holding a charity ball in Romsey this month.

He described his heart attack a couple of years ago when he was 53, as a “life-changing experience” .

Roger, who is the owner of Choice Plants, in the village,was playing hockey when he collapsed.

Friends took Roger to Winchester Hospital, where an ECG immediately alerted doctors to the severity of the attack and taken by ambulance to the specialist cardiac centre in Southampton.

“My consultant in the centre, Professor Curzon, and all the staff there were fantastic. They expected someone with furred-up arteries, but quickly found a complete coronary blockage caused by my heart being configured differently from a normal heart,” said Roger.

ProfCurzon fitted a stent to allow the blood to flow through his arteries and Roger was told that without the treatment for the congenital heart condition, he would have died.

He spent two days in intensive care and then two days on the hospital’s cardiac ward before being discharged.

Roger added: “They indicated that the damage to my heart was severe. But I have made what I can only describe as a miraculous recovery. The reason I believe is that I took my rehabilitation extremely seriously, and did everything the doctors and cardiac rehabilitation nurses told me to do.

“I fully believe the positive outcome I enjoy is down to the skill of the cardiac staff, and the fact that I was determined to get better, and do what was needed to help me recover. I knew I shouldn’t wrap myself in cotton wool and it worked; now I do almost as much as I did before. I really want other people in the same position to see that you can come back from this traumatic experience”

He urged people to support the Wessex Heartbeat charity.

“When Alison Farrell, the chief executive of Wessex Heartbeat approached me to see if I could give a raffle prize for the charity’s Mid-Summer Ball in Romsey I was really delighted to help,” said Roger. “The charity has done, and continues to do, a lot for people like me, and it’s great to be able to give something back.”

The Midsummer Ball is at the Cromwell Arms on June 28 and all funds raised will towards furnishing the young adult cardiac unit SGH. For further details about the ball or to donate to Wessex Heartbeatc go online to hearbeat.co.uk, or phone 02380 706095.