Aldershot midfielder Alex Rodman admitted "every day is a blessing" following his return to pre-season training this summer.
The 25-year-old missed the second half of the Shots' 2011/12 campaign after blood clots were discovered on his lungs.
And things could have been much worse for the former Tamworth man as the condition was not initially diagnosed.
"I've never looked forward to a pre-season more in my life given what happened. Every day is a blessing really. Coming back to training has been fantastic," he told BBC Surrey.
"I didn't really realise the seriousness of it until I was in hospital and they explained the ins and outs of it because I felt absolutely fine in myself.
"Most of the time they don't diagnose it until they're doing the autopsy so I was lucky to have the people around me who were able to pick it up."