... But not to Howard – who is still joking about his dicky ticker after surviving them all!
EVERYONE has heart-stopping moments in life – but retired blacksmith Howard Law has had more than most.
For the 65-year-old has suffered an astonishing EIGHT heart attacks... yet lives to tell the tale.
The married grandad is so used to what must be a horrific ordeal, that he today finds time to joke about his dances with death.
He said: “I’ve got that many metal stents in my heart that I’ve told my wife she can weigh me in at the scrapyard when I go!”
Wath-born Howard looks remarkably well for someone who uses both hands to count the number of times he’s almost met his maker.
His first brush with death came in 1994, when he suffered THREE heart attacks in the space of a fortnight.
“The first one was the worst, because I just didn’t know what was happening.
“I had been working and felt pains in my back. I thought nothing of it, but when I got home I had this tight feeling in my chest that got worse and worse.”
He suffered a further heart attack days later, and a third in hospital, but today brushes it off with: “If you’re going to have a heart attack anywhere, it may as well be while you’re in hospital.”
Five further heart attacks followed intermittently throughout the next 15 years, the last of which was in 2009.
Howard already has three metal stents implanted in his arteries to help open them up and improve blood flow.
And he is due to undergo another operation in July to have two more fitted.
Despite his scares, Howard has managed to keep his sense of humour, quipping: There’s no other way to be, is there?
“I’ve been seeing the same doctor since 1994 and I’ve been joking with him that if they show me the TV screen in the theatre when I go in next month I could probably do the operation myself!”
But despite his light-hearted attitude to life, he added that he isn’t flippant about his health, as he encouraged more people to get heart checks.
“I don’t live an unhealthy lifestyle and I haven’t smoked since I was in my 20s.
“My dad died from heart problems when he was in his 50s and the doctors think it may be hereditary.
“I can certainly say you appreciate life more when you have faced the prospect of death, and thankfully it just isn’t my time yet, it seems.
“A heart attack does put you on edge... any little thing now and I think here we go again.
“If you haven’t had any problems then you tend to ignore the chest pains and think its nothing.
“But believe me it’s always best to see the doctor, just in case.”
If anyone’s in a position to offer such advice, it’s Howard.