A MAN who was told he only had days to live after suffering heart failure has fully recovered and now has a new career on the canals.
Garth Jukes, 64, of Gwersyllt, had been the landlord of a pub, working up to 20 hours a day, for three years when he was diagnosed with a heart condition.
He said: “I was very ill at the time and only given days to live. I’d woken up and my body had blown up overnight – I looked like the Michelin man.
“I had been working so hard to pay the bills and keep the pub going, it was highly stressful.”
The father-of-two spent 18 months out of work and on incapacity benefits before spotted a job opportunity taking pensioners across the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct on a narrowboat.
But he had to complete a £1,000 boatmaster’s course, which he couldn’t afford.
He said: “I went to the Jobcentre and they put me in touch with A4e Wales, who were able to fund me to go on the course on the proviso that there was a full-time job at the end of it.
“Being a boatmaster is a dream come true. There’s no stress in this job compared to running a pub and I love it.”