Paul Keetch, MP for Hereford, was discharged from hospital over the weekend after being fitted with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator ICD.

This is similar to a pacemaker but includes a defibrillator which is activated should Mr Keetch's heart stop.

It was fitted following a large number of tests including an MRI scan which showed that the MP's heart was in good condition and that there was no long term damage.

The ICD will combat the idiopathic ventricular fibrillation which doctors finally diagnosed.

Doctors at the London Chest Hospital confirmed that Mr Keetch's collapse on board an aircraft bound for the USA on July 8 was probably a one off' and that the ICD will safeguard him should any irregularities occur in future.

Mr Keetch was discharged from hospital and returned home to Hereford at the weekend.

"I must convey my deepest thanks to everyone who has been involved with my recovery," Mr Keetch said.

"I have been incredibly touched by all of the messages from such a variety of people - obviously my family, but also my constituents, many local people, MPs from all parties, including the Speaker, Ambassadors and others who have contacted me from all parts of the world. This has been quite overwhelming and I cannot thank people enough for their kindness.

"I want particularly to thank the crew and pilot on the Virgin plane, and the medic and GP who came to my rescue - I owe them my life. The air ambulance and staff at the Royal London and of course the London Chest Hospital who all contributed to getting me fixed so speedily! And, finally to my staff who have held things together so professionally in my absence.

"I'm not quite ready to return to work yet, but following doctor's advice I hope that it will be short rather than long term."