Dad Tom Pinnock, 27, from Hoddesdon in Hertfordshire, was on his way to work when he was hit with unbearable pain in his chest and left arm that he first thought was a panic attack
A healthy young dad narrowly escaped death after unknowingly having a c ardiac arrest that lead to heart failure.
Pub manager Tom Pinnock, 27, was getting ready for a shift at the Crooked Billet Pub near his hometown of Hoddesdon when he started feeling unwell.
That morning of October 17 he was vomiting and had diarrhea, so decided to stay home from work.
But then his symptoms became more severe and he was hit with “unbearable pain” in his chest and left arm, Herts Live reports.
Tom thought he was having a panic attack, something he’d experienced before – and would’ve thought it impossible to have been caused by a cardiac arrest.
A day later, Tom – who’s a type 2 diabetic – was still feeling rough and his blood sugar levels were worryingly high.
He and his partner Jess Clark, 27, called 111 and paramedics rushed to the home and performed an ECG.
It was then the responders told him the symptoms he’d been suffering with for 24 hours were caused by a “major heart attack”.
He told Herts Live: “That was the point I discovered I’d had a major heart attack.
“So I was rushed off to hospital where I had an emergency procedure to try and put a stent in one of my arteries to open the artery back up.
“Unfortunately, because it had been over 24 hours, the procedure didn’t work.”
The condition had caused a loss of 60 per cent of his heart muscle. His heart function was running at around 23 per cent.
Tom said the condition was a massive shock as he doesn’t drink, or smoke and has no health issues apart from his diabetes.
Tom was kept in hospital for six days after the attack, but didn’t last a day before he needed to be readmitted on October 24.
As he watched Manchester Utd play Liverpool on TV he felt his right-hand side go completely numb.
Doctors said that if he hadn’t gone back to hospital he would’ve died.
“I had no power in my right arm, ” said Tom, who was born in Ware.
“I couldn’t lift my arm very well, and I certainly couldn’t grip anything.
“The fortunate thing was it didn’t spread any more than my arm, it wasn’t my leg, not any higher than my shoulder, so it certainly wasn’t a stroke.”
He added: “I had an ECG and a blood test to which I was rushed into resus because my markers around my ECG had gone through the roof.
“The actual doctor on site who was treating me suspected I had another heart attack. It turns out I hadn’t had another heart attack, however the markers themselves were pushing the boundaries of going into severe heart failure.
“I was told that day that if I hadn’t come to hospital when I did then I would have died that day.”
He was transferred to St Bartholomew’s in London before being admitted to Harefield Hospital, which specialises in heart and lung transplants.
Doctors are not yet certain what caused the heart attack, and essentially put it down to bad luck.
Diabetes has been suggested as a factor. His cholesterol levels were stable.
One of his pals Ryan Newey has set up a GoFundMe page to help support the young family while Tom rests up.
It’s smashed its £1,000 target, with £4,000 in donations already raised.
Tom said he’s been humbled by the support, and wanted to thank his friends, family and NHS staff for their help.
“I was gobsmacked,” he said.
“To the various people that have donated on that page, people that I haven’t seen in years, people I’ve only met a handful of times, long-term friends and family, it’s nothing short of amazing.
“I think to me it proves that I’ve done something right and I’ve touched people in a way that, regardless of what’s happened, they want to help.
“Just knowing that there are people out there [means a lot to me].”