A man achieved his dream of becoming one of Santa’s helpers a year after he almost died.
Terry Fielding, 65, was given a 50/50 chance of surviving an operation to lower his stomach following a severe asthma attack 12 months ago.
But the 65-year-old survived and wore a Father Christmas costume for the weekend at Accrington’s new Tesco Extra store.
He landed the role after over-hearing staff at the store saying they needed someone to stand in for Santa and hand out presents to kids.
Hopwood Street resident Terry, who was featured on the front page of the Observer ten years ago after wedding his wife Edna three months after they’d met in hospital, said: "It was brilliant.
"I have always wanted to be a Santa and this opportunity just came around by chance when I was queueing up in the store when a lady asked me if I wanted to do it.
"The pleasure I got from doing it was similar to watching my children being born.
"If anyone ever gets the chance to do it they should because it’s fabulous. The children were fantastic and it was all to raise money for a children's cancer charity. One girl came back for presents and sweets six times and they were all so bright and starry eyed. I would be Santa every year if I could."
Father-of-five Terry has been into hospital 30 times in the last 12 years due to severe asthma. But he says medics saved his life after giving him a new spray to deal with the breathing difficulties.
Terry, who lives with wife Edna in Accrington, said: "I spent three months in intensive care after three weeks in a coma in November last year because of a severe asthma attack. I had to have an operation on my stomach.
"They had to lower it so I could breathe better and before it there was a 50/50 chance I would die.
"It paralysed me for a while and I could only move my eyes but I began to get my life back when medics gave me a new asthma spray."
Janet Ashworth, the community champion at Tesco Extra in Accrington, said: "He looked very much like a real Father Christmas and he helped us raise £120 for CLIC Sargeant, a children’s cancer charity."