Lincoln City Saved My Life

Lincoln City Saved My Life. How many people can truly say the above? Bizarrely, I can, writes David Agnew.

I’d not been feeling too great of late. My PTSD had roared back into my vision again and had become stuck fast in my daily routine. My anxiety was not good, and I didn’t want to go out. At 5.28 pm last Tuesday, my daughter came downstairs and saw me looking lethargic in my living room. “You know, Dad, I’m sure he’ll understand if you don’t want to go tonight. You look really tired.”

My daughter, who is 18 in just a couple of weeks, had observed me well. At that time, however, I didn’t realise how well she had. I said my goodbyes for the evening., and headed off to pick up my son.

On the journey to our parking space, I felt OK, I was a bit breathless, but that is the damn anxiety for you. We parked up and began the very short journey to get my lad a favoured Steve Evans chicken-based meal. As a keen and avid walker, this should not have been an issue for me. Yet, I had to stop five or six times to catch my breath. “Damn panic attacks,” I mumbled to my lad as he suggested perhaps we should go home. I explained I’d be OK when we sat down, and I would have a cold Pepsi Max in my hand.

Filled with fried chicken, my lad told a rather confused Dad that it was time to go. We made the very short journey to the ground and I had retreated to the pace, slower than a sloth on amphetamine. I knew I was in trouble and I had to find help.

I saw an old colleague of mine, Andy P, outside the ground, and I have no idea what he said to me: “Sorry, Andy.” He seemed worried for me and checked on me, I brushed off the concern and went towards our turnstile.

I got through the turnstile and collapsed into the arms of a medic.

It was at this point that Lincoln City Football Club, played such a point in saving my life. I was seen by a Ground Doctor and a Nurse, who is a Cardiac Nurse. Thankfully, they washed away and dismissed my claims of a panic attack, and whilst board directors, members of the RICT, and stewards searched for my son’s best mate and his Dad (apparently, phones were on silent and they were in hospitality for the game).

Dr Tom, an ICU Doctor, decided he was concerned enough to send me up to A&E in an Ambulance, as he believed there was damage to my cardiovascular system, due to previously contracting a virus. This was now affecting my ability to breathe. I was whisked up to hospital and here was my second stroke of luck. Owing to the Junior Doctors’ strike, the person caring for me was a Cardiac Consultant whom had been drafted in to cover. She agreed with the assessment at the ground and began digging for a reason that I was unwell. Test after test came back , mostly inconclusive. More tests came back. Scans were taken, X-rays taken, and I had my diagnosis.

Now, I am aware that some people disagree with medical science and opinion. I am aware that some people. without any medical education or study opine that they know more than experts who work within and have wonderful knowledge, of said proven science. So to them, I say, I trust my Doctor, not Dr Google or Dr YouTube.

My new health issue was caused by the COVID virus. It has been attacking my kidneys. This caused my kidneys to not filter water out of my system as effectively. This caused excessive retention. That caused my blood pressure to be higher, as it was already not great, but tolerable, due to my PTSD. The virus messed with my kidneys such that it affected the ability of my heart to circulate blood round my body. This then affected my breathing.

I’ve seen the results, and thankfully they have caught it early. As I said above, I’m not here to engage in theories of vaccines nor if the disease exists. It does, I’ve seen the evidence and the fact I was vaccinated, ultimately gave me enough, though, limited protection, that saved my life.

That evidence is incontrovertible.

The fact that I am here today, to tell this tale, is actually more to do with the magnificent medical team, at our football ground. The selfless dedication that they give to us all, even if we don’t know that they are there or what they do.

I can be fixed and I hope to be back very soon. My son told me I had missed the game of the season, but I think I had experienced the best match of my life, and I hadn’t even seen a ball kicked.

To everyone who helped me on that evening, I can never ever repay what you did for me. I owe you my life.  Thank you so much.

My last line, but definitely not for the least meaning, is to Steve Freestone. Steve spent the evening and night of his 50th Birthday looking after me in A&E. He left at 10 am the following day. I have been fortunate to know Steve all of my life and his selflessness is second to none. I will never be able to repay the debt of friendship he paid to me that night, and along with all of my other friends that assisted me, that night and since I thank you so much. Aren’t we lucky to have such a wonderful club, club staff and fans. Undoubtedly so.

Thank you, Lincoln City FC, and until next time,


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