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Doctors solve mystery of a man who 'died from laughter' while watching The Goodies after his granddaughter nearly dies from same rare heart condition
Mother-of-two diagnosed with Long QT Syndrome following cardiac arrest
Syndrome is a genetic condition that causes an abnormal heart rhythm probably inherited from grandfather
PUBLISHED: 07:37 EST, 20 June 2012 | UPDATED: 08:32 EST, 20 June
Doctors have solved the mystery of a man who famously 'died from laughter' while watching The Goodies, after his granddaughter's heart stopped for 55minutes.
Mother-of-two Lisa Corke, 23, suffered a near fatal cardiac arrest and was clinically dead for nearly an hour when she collapsed in her home on May 4.
But the young mother from Minster, in Kent, was saved by her 'heroic' quick thinking husband who administered CPR for 15 minutes before the ambulance arrived.
Lisa was rushed to hospital, put into an induced coma for 36 hours and diagnosed with the rare Long QT syndrome.
Amazingly, doctors looked into Lisa's medical history and discovered her paternal granddad was Alex Mitchell who famously died laughing while watching an episode of The Goodies in 1975.
Mr Mitchell, a brick layer from Kings Lynn, Norfolk, was watching the episode "Kung Fu Kapers" when he had a laughing fit and collapsed in front of his distraught wife.
During the episode Tim Brooke-Taylor uses a set of bagpipes to defend himself against Bill Oddie who is hurling black puddings.
It had always been a mystery why Mr Mitchell died but doctors quickly realised he too must have had LQT syndrome, which is hereditary
Lisa, who is currently living with her parents as she makes a full recovery, said: 'My granddad died from one of the most famous strange deaths.
'I think at the time they probably thought he suffered a heart attack caused by the laughter but doctors realised he died from a cardiac arrest caused by LQT syndrome after examining me.
'His death has been talked about for years and made all the papers at the time - I never knew him but it is strange to think we both had this life threatening condition.
'It's amazing really, I never knew I had LQT and we did not know it was in the family. It apparently runs on my father's side.
'But luckily for me my husband was there who amazingly administered CPR and saved my life. He really is my hero.'
Lisa had just put her children to bed and was settling down on the sofa with Mick, 33, when her words began to slur and she suddenly slumped forward.
Mick quickly sprang into action, laid his wife on the floor and phoned 999.
He was told to put her into the recovery position, but when the operator listened to her breathing, he was told to start CPR immediately.
Mick did this until the ambulance arrived and they were working to try and stabilise Lisa at her home and all the way to Medway Maritime Hospital, Kent.
When she arrived in A&E, Lisa was put into a medically-induced coma to try to reduce the risk of brain damage.
Lisa, who lives in the Isle of Sheppey, Kent, was in the coma for 36 hours and had her heart stopped again two days later, but medics were able to bring it under control.
She has since been fitted with an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator and has to take medication everyday for the rest of her life.
Lisa, who also has a seven month old daughter called Amelie, added: 'My whole life has changed and it's really hard not being able to pick the girls up or bath them.
'It's very unusual to survive an out of hospital cardiac arrest so it makes me feel very lucky.
'The doctors said Mick saved my life - it's incredible to think how lucky I have been that he was there and didn't go to pieces. Someone must be looking over us.
'I would like to thank everybody - the paramedics for not giving up - it's a long time for someone to be down. Everyone was fantastic.
'But I have to get my daughters checked for the gene to see if they too have a risk of developing LQT syndrome.'
Mr Mitchell, who was originally from Edinburgh died in front of his wife Nessie, who is now 86 and daughter Xia Mitchell, who is now 57.
He had two other children Liz Mitchell, 62 and Lisa's father Alex, 54. Alex senior is survived by eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Lisa's father Alex, who works as a mortgage consultant said his father was a 'laid back' and 'cheerful man'.
'It was hard for us to deal with at the time but we took comfort in the fact he passed away laughing.
'It is amazing that after all these years we have finally found out what caused his death.'
The family are planning to raise money for the charity CRY and will all be taking a two-hour CPR course through the British Heart Foundation
THE BATTLE OF ECKY THUMP
In this 1975 episode of The Goodies called Kung Fu Kapers, Bill Oddie demonstrates the made-up Scottish martial art of 'Hoots-Toot-Ochaye.'
This consisted of fights with various assailants played by the other two Goodies, including two boxers, a French stick fighter and an Australian with a boomerang. He wins by cunningly hitting them over the head with a black pudding.
He meets his match when Tim Brooke-Taylor takes him on armed with the bagpipes. However, Tim loses after he is hit over the head by the returning boomerang thrown earlier by the Australian. Oddie celebrates his victory after it's announced by the umpire.
LONG QT SYNDROME - A DISORDER THAT STRIKES WITHOUT WARNING
Long QT syndrome is an inherited disorder of the heart's electrical rhythm that affects around one in 10,000 people.
Usually symptoms appear in the teenage years but it may not be picked up till later in life.
A sufferer can experience short episodes of having a fast, abnormal heart rhythm which can lead to other symptoms such as fainting.
These episodes can be triggered by intense exercise, emotional excitement or fear.
There is often no warning before an episode but most people 'come round' again after two minutes as the heart rhythm returns to normal.
However, very occasionally the disruption can be life-threatening.
Medication can control the symptoms, although some patients need a pacemaker to regulate the heart.
If you have experienced fainting associated with exercise or strong emotions, and especially if there is a history in your family of the same problem, it's important to discuss it with your GP. Source: gosh.nhs.uk
For more information visit www.c-r-y.org.uk
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