A MONTH ago, Michael Taylor’s future was bleak.

The father-of-two was a permanent resident in the intensive care unit (ICU) at Wythenshawe Hospital, waiting, hour after hour, for a new heart.

The 44-year-old shop fitter, from Darcy Lever, had fallen ill in March after a virus attacked his heart.

Tablets and hospital care had not helped and Mr Taylor was placed on the emergency list for a transplant operation.

And on July 13, he was rushed into the operating theatre after a heart was found elsewhere in the North West.

Less than a month on, he found himself in the sunshine at Leverhulme Park, watching his family completing The Bolton News Donor Run as part of The Transplant Games.

He is now urging even more people to heed The Bolton News’ campaign and sign the NHS Organ Donor Register.

Mr Taylor said: “I’m one of the lucky ones who has made a real speedy recovery.

“I feel fantastic at the moment. It is only when you try and exert yourself that you realise that you have not got the stamina.

“I didn’t know anything about transplants really, I was so naive. I was shocked when they told me I needed one.”

Mr Taylor visited his GP at Breightmet Health Centre in March after feeling like he had flu, and was referred to A&E within 20 minutes after undergoing an ECG.

He was swiftly diagnosed with microcarditis, a heart inflammation brought on by a virus. And now the transplant has changed his life.

He added: “Before the operation I just couldn’t do anything. My wife was working and I used to try and help out around the house, but even chopping an onion or loading the dishwasher was so hard I had to go and have a lie down afterwards. It sounds pathetic, but that is how it was.”

Within three days of the operation he was out of bed, walking round the ward, and he was discharged from hospital on August 1.

Less than two weeks later he was watching his wife Geraldine and daughters Eden, aged 12, and Heidi, aged three, take part in The Bolton News Donor Run.

To Sign up To Save Lives, go the NHS organ donor register at organdonation.nhs.uk, call 0300 1232323 or text SAVE to 62323.