PORTSMOUTH South MP Mike Hancock is in Queen Alexandra Hospital preparing to undergo heart bypass surgery.
Mr Hancock had an operation to tackle a serious problem with his heart on Wednesday, but said this was not successful.
He now expects to spend around seven to 10 days in the Cosham hospital before transferring to Southampton General where he will spend around a further seven days.
The problem first reared its head a month ago, but Mr Hancock said it wasn’t until Saturday that the pain became too intense and he was admitted to hospital.
He said: ‘At first I thought it was something like a trapped nerve – a problem with my heart was the last thing I was expecting.
‘A week went by and I was getting progressively worse, so I was referred to see a cardiac specialist who did some tests. He said they would have to perform an operation where a balloon is put inside the artery to hold it open.
‘But then over the weekend I was really bad so I came into hospital.
‘They did the operation on Wednesday but found it was much worse than they thought, so told me I would need open-heart surgery.
‘It’s unbelievable. I really can’t believe what’s happened.
‘I never thought my heart would be a problem. It has come as a real blow.’
The MP said even though he was in agony over the weekend he discharged himself on Monday to attend a meeting.
‘I was being a bit pig-headed,’ he said.
‘But I didn’t want to let anyone down.
‘Then by Tuesday afternoon I was bad again and had to go back in.
‘But the care I’ve received has been brilliant, absolutely first class all round.’
He will now regain his fitness at QA before being transferred to Southampton General after a week where the operation will take place.
‘I can’t tell you how much of a shock it has been,’ he said.
‘I was probably a bit arrogant and thought this is the sort of thing that would never happen to me.
‘It will be the first time that I have been off for such a long time, but I don’t have any choice.’
‘From now on I’m doing exactly what the doctors say – I want to see my grandchildren grow up.’
He added that his office would still be open and he would do his best to answer letters and emails.
Portsmouth City Council leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson said: ‘Mike is incredibly hard-working and we all hope he gets better very, very soon.’