HEREFORD'S MP says he's recovering by the hour from the mystery illness that struck him down on a trans-Atlantic flight on Sunday.

Speaking from his hospital bed this evening (Friday) he told the Hereford Times: "I am a very lucky man, twice over.

"If I had been asleep when it happened I would probably be dead.

"If I hadn't been on a flight with a defibrillator and medically trained staff, I would probably be dead.

"Tests are still going on to find out what is wrong with me but I know my heart stopped for at least a minute.

"Now I am lucky to be in the best chest hospital in the world - the London Chest Hospital - where I am having the best care from the NHS.

"I am likely to be here for a few more days: I have to have a scan, but I will be moved soon and it may be back to hospital in Hereford.

"Through the Hereford Times website I want to say thank you to everyone for all the messages and good wishes I have had; for all the care I have had from the NHS staff; for the care by the crew on the flight and to my constituency staff and family for their support.

"I am feeling considerably better today apart from a cough, which I had before I left: now it only hurts when I have to cough."