THE Mayor of Uttoxeter has declared himself ‘lucky to be with us’ after emergency triple bypass surgery saved his life.
Hugh Montgomery collapsed during a treadmill test after going to his doctor complaining of minor chest pains.
Subsequent medical tests showed the two main arteries servicing his heart were 90 and 100 per cent blocked respectively.
The Tory town councillor was rushed into emergency surgery, which was successful, and is now recovering at home.
His deputy, Karen Haberfield, has taken over Councillor Montgomery’s mayoral duties while he rests.
Councillor Montomery said: “I was at a civic event in Ashbourne with my wife just before Christmas when I felt a pain in my chest.
“I went to the doctor as a precaution and they set up a treadmill test for me.
“After three-and-a-half minutes on the treadmill, I just collapsed completely.”
“I was shocked to find out how blocked the main arteries to my heart had become.
“Apparently, the only reason I’m still alive is that I have a very strong heart pump.”
Councillor Montgomery has sent his ‘heartfelt thanks’ to the ‘excellent’ surgeons who operated on him at Glenfield Hospital, Leicester.
He has received nearly 100 cards wishing him a speedy recovery from Uttoxeter residents.
He said: “I didn’t realise there were so many people out there who were thinking of me and it’s been really touching to receive so many good wishes.
“My recovery will be a long, slow process. I’ve already lost five kilos in weight since the operation.
“It could be six months of recovery time until I’m able to get back to something like my normal lifestyle.
“But Karen, my deputy, has been doing an absolutely wonderful job filling in for me and I can’t thank her enough.”
Councillor Montgomery has been appointed as president of the East Staffordshire Conservatives, replacing fellow town councillor Lucy Webb.
Steve Simmonds, who has taken over Councillor Montgomery’s previous role as chairman, has paid tribute to his long-standing party colleague.
He said: “We are relieved that Hugh is making good progress from his recent operation.
“This has been a very worrying time for both Hugh and his wife, Hermione, and our thoughts are with them at this time.”
“I’d also like to thank Lucy Webb for her work in the role.”
Councillor Montgomery said: “I had no choice but to step down as chairman of the East Staffordshire Conservatives.
“There was simply no way that I would be able to perform that role in my current state, particularly with an election year coming up.
“But it’s a fantastic honour to be offered the role of president and I hope I can do the job justice.”