Mickey Bushell: I almost died, says Shropshire's gold Paralympian
Shropshire's gold medal-winning Paralympian Mickey Bushell has revealed that he nearly died last year from a urine infection - but is now on course to defend his title in Rio in August.
Bushell, from Telford, is aiming to repeat his 100m T53 triumph at the London Paralympics in September 2012.
But he missed seven months of training last year after suffering a chlamydia trachomatis infection (CTI).
"I saw a specialist, who said I was 12 hours from death," said Bushell.
"Everything is ticking over nicely now, but I hope this year will be a real turning point after last year," he told BBC Radio Shropshire.
"I did one race before the illness. But then I had a CTI infection around April and May which took me out for seven months. I nearly died.
"Coming back from that was tough. It took me a long time to get there, but I'm back now, training hard and looking forward to Rio.
"It will be an interesting year but we'll get through it and hopefully I'll win again."
Bushell, who received the freedom of his home town in 2014, also won the T53 class at the European Championships in Swansea in 2014 prior to his illness.
Mickey Bushell was speaking to BBC Radio Shropshire's Nick Southall.