Blackley dad-of-one Michael suffered COPD (the name for a group of lung conditions that cause breathing difficulties, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis) for 12 years but continued to smoke until he was at ‘death’s door’ in hospital and told ‘one more cigarette would kill him’.
Yet such was the power of his 50 year addiction that when he went home he picked up a cigarette and smoked it: “It pretty much choked me,” he said.
That, and the discovery of early stage lung cancer, was the turning point for him - Michael quit, and he is now in remission from his cancer. His day-to-day life is much improved, getting out on his e-bike and using his Old Trafford season ticket whenever he can.
“My lungs will never get better,” he said, “but for the last year they haven’t got any worse either. I feel like I’ve gained a new life.”