EX-BROOKSIDE star Vince Earl will be forever grateful to his wife for insisting they call an ambulance when he fell ill.
Doctors later discovered Vince, who lives with his wife Irene in Hoole, had been felled by a rare blood disorder and he ended up spending three weeks in intensive care.
Now recovering at home, Vince, 66, said: “It was very very critical. My wife insisted that we call the ambulance and I am led to believe had we not done I may have ended up in an urn on the mantelpiece.”
The grandad-of-five began to feel tired while working as a comedian and singer on board a cruise ship in the Mediterranean.
But it was after returning home, one late night in September, that he was rushed into the Countess of Chester Hospital before being sent to Arrowe Park for further treatment.
At first doctors simply thought he had a chest infection but tests later revealed he had the rare Goodpasture’s Syndrome, which affects one in two million people.
Little is known about the cause of the auto-immune disorder which leads to the immune system making antibodies which destroyed Vince’s kidneys.
Vince was given steroids, anti-cancer drugs and was having regular plasma (blood) treatment but this has now stopped. However, he must still undergo five hours of dialysis three times a week and is on the kidney transplant list.
“I feel a 100% better than I did. I really feel like I’m getting there,” added Vince, who has lost two stone and is walking four or five times a week.
Vince, who next year celebrates 50 years in showbusiness, is organising a charity golf trip to the Algarve to raise £25,000 for a dialysis machine at Arrowe Park. The trip, from April 11-15, 2011, costs £785. For details, call Regal Promotions on 01244 319849.