Tributes for heart attack man

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A father has paid a moving tribute to his son who collapsed and died on a Spalding town centre street just before Christmas.

Neil Anderson (30) was on his way to bring some items to a charity shop when he suffered a heart attack on High Bridge, near High Street, on December 20.

Paramedics and members of the public, including people working in offices nearby, rushed to Mr Anderson’s aid but he died at the scene.

His father, Martin Anderson (60) of Moulton Chapel, described his son as “playful, full of life and very funny” despite his mental health problems.

He said: “At about 11.25am on December 20, Neil had a massive attack while walking over the footbridge near High Street.

“It’s nice that he went in a good way because he was going to a charity shop to take some stuff to them and when he collapsed, a number of people working in offices on both sides of the road went to his aid almost immediately.

“But his death was almost instant and I’d like to thank both members of the public and the superb ambulance staff who tried to resuscitate him.”

Neil moved to Spalding with his family from Peterborough 12 years ago and had an interest in native American, Egyptian and pre-Christian history. His father said: “Neil suffered from mental health problems but he always tried to be positive and continue with his life.

“Deep down as an individual, he was very kind, playful, full of life and very funny.

“He loved nature and was well-read, having built up a wonderful library of books covering a whole range of subjects.

“Neil had a really deep interest in native American and pre-Christian cultures, including the Aztecs and Eqyptians.”

Mr Anderson said his son only became aware of any heart problems two weeks ago when he started having chest and arm pains.

“Neil went to a cardiologist at Pilgrim Hospital, Boston, the day before he died and the post mortem on him showed that he had coronary heart disease.

“But his mental illness didn’t help at all because it caused him to be overweight and he also had diabetes.”

No funeral plans have been made yet for Neil who is survived by his father and older brother Ian (32).

Mr Anderson said: “We were more like buddies than father and son, but Neil knew that I loved him regardless of that.

“Even though he tended to keep himself to himself, Neil would always lend a hand if anyone needed it and he liked giving things away to charity.

“I always took him out for drives in the country and he used to plant trees to replace those cut down in the forests.

“I will always remember my son as a really funny, intelligent lad who was a pleasure to be with.”

Tributes to Neil have been posted by family and friends on social media website Facebook.

Samantha Adel, a relative of Neil’s, said: “Mental health problems or not, Neil was a great cousin with a great sense of humour.

“He never failed to make me laugh.”

Kev Privett said: “Neil was a gentle giant.”