'How angling saved my life'

Almost a year ago to the day, highly respected match and specimen angler Andy Renton was on a life support machine and wasn’t expected to live to see the next day – but he’s now being billed as ‘The Miracle Man’, after staging a remarkable return to winning ways.

The Daiwa Goldthorpe team member had collapsed after suffering septicaemia, pneumonia, a ruptured spleen, kidney failure and a cardiac arrest in a matter of hours, and was also diagnosed with leukaemia. But in an incredible turn of events, described as nothing short of a ‘miracle’ by the doctors who treated him, he has made virtually a full recovery.

Doncaster-based Andy, who is also part of the Don Valley Specimen Group, has put a lot of that recovery down to fishing, plus reading Angling Times every week in hospital!

He celebrated his return to health by competing in the White Acres Winter Festival last week, winning a match there in the process. He has now spoken about the day his world was turned upside down – December 18 2012.

“I felt like I had a bit of cold and I passed out that night, then I woke up six days later in intensive care. One of my first thoughts was that I would miss my next winter league matches!” he told Angling Times. “All my family were there because the hospital didn’t think I’d still be alive the next day.  But I was and on January 1 I was moved to Sheffield to start chemo and I spent a total of four months in and out of hospital.

“Fishing kept me going. When I was well enough to look at my tackle again I cleaned it and tied some hooks, and the doctor said I looked visibly healthier. I was getting up in a morning because I had the motivation to do things. I just tried to get on with it because life goes on and the support from everybody has been unbelievable.  Now I’m here for a good time rather than a long time!” added Andy.