'Going to the gym saved my life' - Burnley pensioner

An 87-year-old Burnley fitness fanatic has proven how going to the gym could very well be the difference between life and death.

Raymond Marsden
Raymond Marsden

Four weeks ago Raymond Marsden was rushed into Blackburn A and E with an Aortic Aneurysm where he received life saving surgery within two hours of arriving at the hospital.

The vascular surgeons said that they were amazed at his “unbelievable fitness levels” for his age.

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When he told them that he went to the gym three times a week they told him they were certain that this would prove beneficial to him, to help him not only get through the surgery but also to make a speedy recovery.

“The aneurism was 8cm wide and was on the point of rupturing, so it really was a life and death situation.

“I’m very pleased to say that I came through a five-hour operation which entailed having 55 stitches/staples.

“I spent three days in intensive care and six days on an acute ward before being discharged,” said Raymond.

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The surgeons have told him that going to Crow Wood and keeping himself fit has “helped save his life”.

They have also pointed out to him that as soon as he gets a clean bill of health from them hopefully at the end of April, that he should get back to Crow Wood and carry on from where he left off - keeping up his fitness levels.

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Chris Marsden, Raymond’s son, said: “My dad is registered blind so he finds being able to exercise in a safe environment with fitness trainers on hand, if needed, is an added bonus.

The trainers at Crow Wood have been a great help to him over the years. If ever a situation expressed the importance of keeping fit in later years then surely this must be it.”