A father-of-three who was clinically dead for more than half a minute is set to say a big ‘thank you’ by raising cash for a health charity.
Hartlepool man Jeff Jobling, 63, was in bed at home when his body went 36 seconds without a heartbeat.
Then, for no explicable reason, he suddenly started to breathe again yet Jeff had no memory of what had just happened to him.
The full extent of what he’d been through was only revealed after hospital tests on his heart showed he’d had a major recent incident and he had epilepsy as well.
It led to surgery in which Jeff had a pacemaker fitted with leads going into an artery. He had to spend seven months off work, after the drama five years ago, while he recovered and still needs to be monitored once a year.
Yet Jeff, a technician working at English Martyrs School in Hartlepool and who lives in Seaton Carew, has fought his way back to fitness.
And now, to say thank you for his life, he is planning a 1.4 mile swim to raise money for the British Heart Foundation. He has already raised more than £200 and will tackle the challenge in Bournemouth when he will swim the equivalent of 110 lengths of a swimming pool.
Jeff, who is married to Brenda, 57, a staff nurse at Hartlepool and District Hospice, is a father-of-three to Daniel Jobling, 35, Nicola Ceaton, 31, and Sophie Jobling, 28.
He said: “I was clinically dead for more than 30 seconds. I just came back to life, I don’t know why. I just arched up and came back.”
Jeff, who had been at the peak of fitness before his problems, told of the night the dice-with-death drama happened.
“My wife was next to me and she said she thought I had gone. It was early morning and she knew something was not right.”
Brenda told the Mail: “It was a horrible year. Over a period of a few months, there were incidents where he was passing out but people did not know what had gone on.”
But Brenda told of her pride at her husband for fighting back. He will tackle the Bournemouth to Boscombe pier swim on July 12.
“The whole family will be there cheering him on.”
Anyone wanting to find out more about the work of the British Heart Foundation should visit its website at www.bhf.org.uk.