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Amaechi allowed home after receiving emergency surgery

BACK ON HIS FEET: John Amaechi

FORMER NBA basketballer John Amaechi has thanked doctors at hospitals in Manchester and Greater Manchester for saving his life after undergoing surgery to remove liquid from one of his lungs.

The 42-year-old ex-Orlando Magic and Houston Rockets player, who resides in Stockport, contacted the emergency services after having difficulty breathing December.

Once the problem was identified, Amaechi underwent an emergency operation which meant he was in hospital on Christmas day and during the New Year.

However, Amaechi – who now works as a broadcaster, psychologist and as an educator – has been discharged from hospital.

Recollecting about the ordeal, he told Manchester Evening News: “I went to the GP because I thought I had tonsillitis and she prescribed me some penicillin.

“The next morning I woke up and I couldn’t breathe and had to call 999.

“I’d had a pain in my ribs which I thought I’d picked up from a charity basketball match I’d played in.

“I was taken to Stepping Hill Hospital where they carried out tests and assessments for four days.

“They sent me to Wythenshawe where surgeon Piotr Krysiak realised what it was.”

He continued: “The X-rays showed a load of what they thought was liquid in my lungs. It had been there that long that it had turned solid.

“They had to crack open my ribs to get it out and I had a full thoracotomy which was a cut like a smiley face across the whole of my back and then tubes inserted to drain it out.”

Amaechi was incredibly grateful for the medical care that he received.

“I have always been a big fan of the NHS,” he said.

“Considering it doesn’t get the funding it should, I think they do a remarkable job and this has served only to reinforce my opinion of it.

“Stepping Hill stepped in and saved my life and Wythenshawe got me back on my feet. I can’t thank them enough.”

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