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I was in Europe most of last week – visiting customers and having meetings in Bracknell, Duesseldorf, Zuerich and Stuttgart.

On Wednesday morning I woke up with a fever and felt really achy – I put this down to jetlag. I noticed that breathing was difficult and my side hurt like hell.

On Friday I flew back to the UK after meetings with a partner in Stuttgart; I was in pain before the flight; during the flight I slept, in pain and in a daze; when I got off the plane I felt like I was drowning and about to die. I got my rental car and drove to Nottingham where I went to the NHS walk-in clinic.

I was immediately seen and referred as an emergency to Queens Medical Center; I went to casualty (ER) and was admitted.

Turns out I had fluid and blood on my lungs; a partial collapsed lung; bacteria in my blood and atypical pneumonia. I was on intravenous antibiotics and was kept in for treatment.

I’m out now – but on a vast amount of antibiotics and painkillers.

The best part – it didn’t cost a penny. When the National Health Service works – it works very well.