Entertainment

I'm about to die: Chico tells of ‘awakening' as he suffered stroke

Doctors said he had a blood clot the size of a 50p coin.

Former X Factor contestant Chico was moved to tears as he recounted what he believed were his final thoughts after suffering a stroke.

The star, 47, said he felt he had not completed his “life mission” because he had not become a grandfather or seen his children marry as he talked about the stroke that occurred while driving home from his job as a fitness instructor.

Chico – full name Chico Slimani – told ITV’s Loose Women he believed he was having a spiritual experience and an “awakening” before realising he might die.

Chico Slimani suffers stroke
Chico Slimani suffered a stroke on September 15 (PA)

He was driving to his home in north London from a fitness class in Bognor Regis, West Sussex, on September 15 when he fell ill and pulled over before vomiting and passing out.

He said: “At this moment, I’m just thinking this is an awakening or an enlightenment. It begins as a near-death experience, that’s what it is. You lose sense of who you are and another reality opens up to you.

“There was a pub in the distance. I managed to get myself together. By now I’d lost most of the use of my left arm.

“I was in the middle of the car park and I thought to myself: ‘I’m here alone, in the middle of a car park, and I’m about to die.’”

He added: “This was it. This was the moment. Everything had disappeared. There was no time or space.

“I basically thought: ‘Oh wow, I haven’t fulfilled my life mission.’ I looked at the families around me and I could see a picture of my daughter and I could see a video of her getting married and I thought: ‘I’m not going to be there.’

“I saw pictures of my son and I thought: ‘I’m not going to be a grandad.'”

Chico managed to drive home and the next day held another fitness class, despite losing control of his left hand and struggling with his speech.

Twenty-four hours later, he went to Barnet Hospital, where doctors confirmed he had had a stroke.

During the emotional interview, the Loose Women hosts read out a doctor’s report from the hospital.

It said: “He has made a remarkable recovery which is unexpected considering what the scan result showed. I have never seen a case like this before in my career.”

Chico, who appeared in the 2005 series of the TV talent show and later released a number one single, It’s Chico Time, said doctors told him he had a brain clot the size of a 50p coin.

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