TV property presenter Martin Roberts is looking to celebrate 20 years on Homes Under The Hammer after a brush with death from heart failure last month.
The 58-year-old suffered a build-up of fluid in the sac around his heart and ended up in hospital, and is now recovering at his holiday home in Devon.
The BBC One star told The Sun: “I feel so very lucky to be here. I could have died but I’m here. I’ll never be the same person again. I like being on the go, I’ve been presenting Homes Under The Hammer for 19 years and I’m determined to make it to 20, next May.
"There are still so many things I want to achieve, but I know I have to take things slowly from now on. I can’t and don’t want to return to the frantic life I led before. I’ve been given a second chance and I don’t intend to waste it.”
Over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend Roberts, who two months ago was delivering heart monitors to Ukraine, had been ill. He said he'd had asthma since he was a child, but I couldn’t catch his breath "no matter how many times I used my inhaler".
Kirsty, his wife of 12 years, took him to the Royal United Hospital in Bath. He said “The wait time when we arrived was four hours but within 45 seconds of arriving, a nurse saw me, and things went fast from there. Scans revealed a condition called pericardial effusion – a build-up of too much fluid in the double-layered fibrous sac-like structure around the heart.
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Roberts said: “I only found out afterwards but when I went into surgery, my heart was giving up, my kidneys and liver were operating at 30 per cent and my lungs were weakening.
Dr Anu Garg, the consultant cardiologist who operated on Roberts, said: “He needed pericardiocentesis surgery, where we use a needle to go in and drain the excess fluid. In some cases watchful waiting can work, where the body will take care of the issue itself. Three per cent of all autopsies show pericardial effusion, but the majority of patients I see with it have a cancer.
“Men, women, young, old – anyone can, unfortunately, be affected. While it can recur, the cause tends to dictate whether it will or not, and viral infections don’t tend to make it happen again, while cancer can.” More than a litre of fluid was taken from the lining of the presenter's heart — and he started to feel better.
He said: “I live at 90 miles per hour. I say yes to everything, I try and solve problems, but being faced with losing your life makes you re-evaluate how you’re living it."
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