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Man put his exhaustion into the office lifestyle – until he fell into a coma



One man who got so tired and slow he was on the verge of death told how he first put his exhaustion into the office lifestyle.

Stuart Walters was so ill that he barely recognized himself in photographs taken just a year ago.

In the photo, slumped in an office chair wearing a wool hat and sunglasses, Stuart looks like a different man than he is now, reports the Manchester Evening News.

The 47-year-old recruitment consultant, who lives in Stockport, initially attributed his permanent burnout to age and working in an office.

But the transformation was so gradual that he almost lost the warning signs that he had a serious health problem that almost proved fatal.

"Something was going on a while ago," he said.

Stuart says his near-death experience has given him a new life opportunity.

"I was slowing down, my speech was slurred and I had puffiness around my eyes.

“I was in my 40s and for a long time I dedicated it to aging and office life.

"I didn't feel bad, I just got tired. My eyes were so sore that I wore yellow welding goggles all the time.

"It's weird because at no point did I feel I couldn't perform at work.

"I just kept going, gradually getting slower and slower."

It turned out that for years Stuart lived with hypothyroidism – an extreme case of underactive thyroid.

"I didn't know that at the time, but there was no thyroid hormone in my body," he explains.

“My family in South Wales noticed a change in me.

Stuart before being diagnosed with hypothyroidism

“I was walking funny and it looked terrible. They were worried about me.

It was in February this year when his condition took a dangerous turn.

Stuart became hyper-sensitive to cold. It was the norm for him to wear a wool hat indoors, at work, and at home.

His boiler had broken down and a gas engineer was not available to fix it for two days.

"My son Finn called me to see if I needed anything and he said, 'You don't look right, Dad,'" he recalls.

"He came looking for me and when he arrived he found me lying on the floor."

Stuart suffered from hypothermia and slow heartbeat and was rushed to the intensive care unit at Stepping Hill Hospital.

Stuart remembers nothing until six days later when he awoke from a myxedema coma – a rare life-threatening condition caused by hypothyroidism.

Stuart Walters with his son Finn in September 2019

"My family came from South Wales and was basically saying goodbye," says Stuart.

“I remember waking up and asking my son the time.

"He said at 6.30 pm and I replied" great, we can take a trip on the way home.

"My son had to tell me that I was in a coma for six days and almost died."

It would be another three weeks before Stuart could return home after his ordeal.

"It's a very strange thing to be in a coma.

“You lose a lot of oxygen and they were worried about my brain damage.

"Coming back from that, I was very disoriented."

The doctors explained that he almost died and would need medication and monitoring for the rest of his life.

But thanks to his treatment, Stuart is now out of the hospital and back to work.

The father of one of them believes his close contact with death gave him a second chance.

"Physically, I now feel that I've received the keys to my life," says Stuart.

“My family noticed a huge difference in me.

Stuart Walters before and after diagnosis

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"It's no exaggeration to say that I feel 20 years younger.

“Like most men of my generation, you tend to stop looking for obvious doctors and symptoms.

"You get so wrapped up in your everyday work and home life that you don't stop and look at yourself.

“Now I can see how old I lost being sick.

“Part of the recovery process for me is not being afraid of doctors or blood tests.

“There are times like Christmas when I think, wow, that was close.

"But mostly I appreciate my life and I think I'm a better person for that."

Stuart says his condition has made him rethink his lifestyle choices.

He now goes to the gym and swims regularly, while also following a healthy diet.

"Mostly I feel incredibly lucky to be here," he adds.

Stuart's colleagues at Akton Recruitment must climb Mount Snowdon to the aid of the British Thyroid Foundation.


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