St Albans ex-pat is back from the dead and back from the USA for one-man show

PUBLISHED: 17:25 27 August 2015 | UPDATED: 09:33 28 August 2015

Horace won the 'golden gloves' in 1973 and 1974

Horace won the 'golden gloves' in 1973 and 1974

Archant

A man who was clinically dead for 10 minutes and spent 40 days in a coma in the US will be returning to his hometown for a one man show about his life.

After 63-year-old Horace Martin suffered an aneurysm in February, he was given the drug Haldol, which triggered an allergic reaction.

His heart stopped for 10 minutes before he was revived and he then sank into a coma, waking up 40 days later. He is now coming back from the States to St Albans to perform a one man show based on his eventful life next Saturday (5).

Horace described his time in a coma as like “swimming in ink” and that he felt trapped: “At times I could hear people talking about me, but I could not answer, it was my own personal nightmare.”

He recalled a surreal experience of gaining consciousness at one point: “I could not distinguish what was real and what was nightmare, as it was all real to me, it was unending.”

It was after a lucid dream about a good friend, only to find her holding his hand.

Horace, whose parents owned the Bat and Ball pub (now Lisa Star Nails), was in and out of trouble while growing up in St Albans.

He said: “In the seventies I was known as a nefarious individual, with a penchant for violence and antisocial behaviour, and visits to boys’ detention centres and prisons.”

But he turned his life around drastically by attending drama school, starring in Shakespeare plays and appearing in television adverts.

Following his first move to America Horace also became a boxing champion, with successes in the esteemed Golden Gloves amateur boxing competition in ‘73 and ‘74.

“I had no other ambitions other than to get fit but I soon became the Omaha champion at light heavy weight,” he said.

After a run in with the police in the US, Horace returned to St Albans in 1976, where his drinking took off and he became homeless, sleeping rough in London.

He had his last drink in July 1985 and he returned to America afterwards.

Horace recalled the feeling of dying during his time in hospital and meeting lost loved ones, who told him to return to his body.

He said: “I only wish I knew why or what my parents meant when suggesting I should come back. What am I to do? It’s like I have been given this gift but I don’t know how to open it.”

Horace’s play and coming home party was organised by good friend Leanda (Landy) Kelly, who would send letters to be read to Horace during his time in a coma.

She said: “I knew Horace growing up, he was always known as a bit of a bad boy, but we never spoke properly until later in life.

“I think it’s so important that we have a party like this to show him how many people cared about him while he was asleep, as I like to refer to it.”

The event takes place at 7pm at The Goat pub, St Albans, on September 5.

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