A FORTNIGHT AGO, Colin Todd was emerging from intensive care.
The former Sunderland defender had just undergone heart bypass surgery in Scandinavia, where he has spent the last 18 months as manager of Danish top flight outfit Randers FC.
Thankfully, Chester-le-Street-born Todd is now on the mend and hopes to be back in the dug-out next month for the remainder of the campaign.
But the 65-year-old insists his recovery has been boosted by the messages of support he has received from Wearside and contacted the Echo to thank Sunderland fans for their good wishes.
Todd told the Echo: “The support meant a lot to me and the family and I have to thank all the fans who have been in touch.
“Two weeks ago, I was just coming out of intensive care, but I’ve been going along fine.
“Mentally, it was one of those things where you need time to get it right in your head because it came as a big, big surprise, as it did to the rest of the family.
“But everything seems to be going fine now.
“It will take time. It might be two or three weeks before I can go back to work, or it might be a bit longer.
“The most important thing is I have to take heed of my body because it was obviously a major operation.
“I have to be sensible, but I will be back.”
Todd was on a mid-season training camp in Spain when he first experienced pain and realised it might be serious after searching the symptoms on the internet.
“We were in Spain and I was playing head tennis and I felt a bit of heart burn in my chest for two or three minutes,” said the former Bolton and Middlesbrough manager.
“I looked up and felt a weakness in my right arm too.
“Normally, I would not have thought anything about it, but I had a look on my iPad and it said it could be related to my heart, which was concerning.
“Once I got back to Randers, they reacted very quickly.”
When he returns to action, Todd hopes he can orchestrate a successful end to the season for Randers after enjoying a productive second spell at the club.
“The people in Denmark have been absolutely brilliant,” he added.
“I came over a year and a half ago after I had been here five years ago and did reasonably well.
“Last season, we finished third in the table, got into Europe and lost 1-0 in the final of the Danish Cup.
“Up to Christmas we had only lost five games out of 18, but had drawn too many. We conceded a 94th minute equaliser against Copenhagen and the same thing happened against Aarhus.
“But although we’re fifth bottom, we’re still only four points off fourth place, so it’s very close.”