Mark Williams wins snooker World Championship in 2018
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After becoming the first left-handed player to win the World Snooker Championship in 1999, Williams was forced to make a trip to a local hospital after complaining of chest pains during a first session in the 2019 Masters competition. Only 44 years old at the time, and with the pain clearly affecting his game, the Welshman took to Twitter saying that he was in A&E as he “couldn’t stick the chest pains no more”.
After an agonising wait for results, Williams remained in A&E until 11pm that very night. At the time, Williams addressed the issue further, saying: “I tried my best out there, but I missed too many balls.
“David [Gilbert] was playing well so I don’t want to take anything away from him. I was needing two or three chances a frame. I was having pains in my chest. I just couldn’t stick it. I obviously didn’t know what it was.
“I was told to go to A&E by the doctor here to get it checked out. I will go home and see a doctor for a full MOT.
“I loved getting introduced as the defending champion. It’s just a shame I had to go out that way.
“I was back at the hotel around 11 last night, but have been sleeping all day until 10 to six.
“You can’t pick and choose when stuff like that happens.
“I was feeling a bit frightened because I didn’t know what it was. It’s not as bad tonight as it was yesterday afternoon.
“But you can’t withdraw from this event, maybe a smaller event, but not the biggest one in the world.”
Luckily for the snooker champ doctors were able to rule out that the chest pains were caused by an underlying problem with his heart, and the star returned to the Crucible to complete his game with David Gilbert, losing 9-13.
Baffled by the cause of the chest pains himself, Williams explained that he had been trying to live a healthier lifestyle, cutting down after partying his third world title.
He added: “I haven’t had a drink for about a month. I’ve been eating healthily and lost a bit of weight coming in here to give myself the best chance.
“Maybe I need to get back on the beers and kebabs to give myself the best chance,” Williams added jokingly.
The NHS explains that suffering from chest pains is usually nothing to be scared of, but it is crucial that you seek medical advice if you think you might be having a heart attack.
Symptoms of a heart attack can include:
- Chest pain – the chest can feel like it’s being pressed or squeezed by a heavy object, and pain can radiate from the chest to the jaw, neck, arms and back
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling weak or lightheaded, or both
- An overwhelming feeling of anxiety.
A heart attack is a medical emergency and the NHS adds that it is the combination of symptoms that’s important in determining whether a person is having a heart attack and not the severity of chest pain.
If you are convinced that you or someone you know is having a heart attack, the British Heart Foundation recommends doing the following after you have called for an ambulance:
- Sit down and stay calm
- Take a 300mg aspirin if you have one within reach
- Wait for the paramedics.
Other causes of chest pain depend on the types of symptoms you experience.
For example, symptoms that start after eating are often signs of heartburn or indigestion, whereas symptoms that get worse when you breathe in and out and are often accompanied by a cough may be a sign of a chest infection or pneumonia.
In addition, symptoms that start after chest exercise or feel better when resting can be a sign of a chest sprain, whereas a tingling feeling on the skin or a rash that turns into blisters can be caused by shingles.
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