A football coach has been described as a “walking miracle” after surviving a massive heart attack which left him minutes from death.
Jimmy Etchells, from Fintry, had just finished playing a friendly match for Fintry Athletic when he started to feel unwell.
The 44-year-old collapsed in the car park at Fairfield playing fields in front of his shocked son Bradley, 19.
Despite regaining consciousness and insisting he was fine, an ambulance was called and moments after he was placed in the back he flatlined.
Paramedics used a defribrillator to save the dad-of-five.
He was taken to Ninewells Hospital to undergo emergency surgery.
During the operation, in which he had a stent put in his heart, doctors discovered he had another two blocked arteries which were a “ticking time bomb” caused by hereditary heart disease.
Jimmy said: “I actually died twice – once in the ambulance and once at the hospital. The consultants have said they cannot understand how this happened to me at 44.
“I am reasonably fit, I don’t smoke, I’m not overweight and don’t have diabetes.
“It is only six years since I stopped playing regularly but I played in a charity game six months ago and I train with the lads.
“We were short with boys on holiday and working and I came on for the last 30 minutes.
“Afterwards I even helped take the goals down as you do after games.
“But I thought I was dehydrated and came back in for a drink of water and to splash some on my face.”
However, Jimmy’s condition worsened and eventually an ambulance was called by his son and he was rushed to Ninewells Hospital, where he works as a nurse in the clinical investigations unit.
He said: “I know I work there but the staff were absolutely fantastic and I cannot fault them in any way.
“The heart attack that I had is known as ‘tomb stoning’ because of the way the ECG results go.
“It is apparently the worst kind of heart attack you can have.
“I never thought anything like this could happen to me but if it wasn’t for my son insisting an ambulance was called then I wouldn’t be here today.”
Jimmy and his family have now launched an online fundraising page to pay for a defibrillator to be installed at the playing fields.
The equipment, which costs £1,000, dramatically increases a heart attack victim’s chances of survival.
Any extra money will go towards paying for similar equipment at other council pitches.
Jimmy’s daughter Amber, 23, said: “The doctors said he was a walking miracle and if he’d been anywhere else, by himself, he would have died.
“It’s a real shock. It’s not what you expect to happen to a fit 44-year-old. He’s the one who’s always running around everywhere. He’s never smoked a fag in his life.
“We had a bit of a fright, especially my brother who saw it happen.
“But if it wasn’t for that they wouldn’t have discovered the other problems.”
Jimmy was in hospital for four days and is now home recovering with partner Alana and younger kids Aria, Ian and Liam – aged four, 10 and 13.
Amber added: “It would have been horrible for all of us if he had not survived but especially the younger kids being left without a dad at their age.
“He’s back home and feeling better but I think he’ll be taking a back seat with the coaching for a while.”