Radio legend Tom Morton’s life was saved by his medical student daughter.
The star this week revealed he was bowing out of his popular BBC Scotland show after being hit with a heart complaint. But we can reveal Tom credits quick thinking daughter Martha with saving his life.
The broadcaster was stricken with crippling chest pains in his remote family home on Shetland. Tom, 59, cried out to the third-year medical student when he realised the crushing pain was more than indigestion.
“I was in the kitchen when I felt this dreadful pain down my left arm and realised my life could be in danger,” said the presenter of Radio Scotland’s Morton Through Midnight programme. She rushed in to see what had happened and spotted the signs of a coronary attack.”
Desperate to save her dad, the Aberdeen University student called her mum, Susan, a local GP. She urged Martha to give her dad an aspirin and wait for her to travel the 10 minute journey to the family home in Hillswick, on the main island.
“Then Susan piled me into the car and drove me to her surgery where I got a medical spray, which opened arteries blocking blood to my heart, and painkilling morphine,” he said.
An ambulance took Tom to the Gilbert Bain Hospital in Lerwick.
He was later flown by emergency air ambulance to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary where a diagnostic angiogram revealed a major artery was 75% narrowed.
Susan said they are both delighted with their daughter’s quick response.
“Tom was lucky,” she said. “Martha’s quick action was vital and we are proud of the way she coped.
“It was not easy watching her dad struggling.”
Last week pie and fish supper loving Tom, revealed he has suffered from high cholesterol and soaring blood pressure for several years.
“I have been kept alive by heart protecting statin drugs for the past 20 years,” he said. “To be honest, I wouldn’t be here today without them.”
He inherited a risk of heart disease from his mother Effie, who died from a heart attack at 49.
“I got the chance to survive, that she never got,” Tom added.
His dice with death has forced the popular radio man to give up his late night slot. Former Radio Clyde DJ Suzie McGuire is set to take over his radio show.
“I cannot work till 1am because the pressure won’t help me make a good recovery,” he said. “After consulting Susan and the kids I have decided that my life is obviously more important.
“It’s not an option to ignore what’s happened to me.”
Last week Radio Scotland boss Jeff Zycinski praised the broadcasting stalwart and said he hoped his step back from the radio microphone will be temporary.