Just five weeks ago, the Lord Mayor of Bradford suffered a heart attack from a blood clot in one of the main arteries of his heart, resulting in surgery and a short stay in the hospital.
Not one to give up working or serving the community, Manningham Councillor Shabir Hussain was helping his constituents from his hospital bed, dealing with a housing query from a concerned resident a mere few hours after his surgery.
With a background in the pharmaceutical industry and the restaurant sector, The Lord Mayor has served on Bradford Council since 2006 and is the Area Planning Panel chair and works on the Bradford West Area Committee and the Regulatory and Appeals Committee.
Cllr Hussain has been married to Lady Mayoress Azra Bi for over forty years and share five sons and six grandchildren together. He was announced as the Lord Mayor and First Citizen of Bradford 2021-22 last year, entering the twelve-month role during the second lockdown.
Before becoming the Lord Mayor, Cllr Hussain was hospitalised with Covid-19 in November 2020 and spent three months off work recovering from Long Covid. It was a “slow recovery” he says, but it didn’t stop him from going back to work twelve weeks later.
After feeling weak from the heart surgery, the Lord Mayor has regained strength and is feeling much better following the frightening incident less than two months ago. He is back out serving his constituents in Manningham and attending events across the district in his role as Lord Mayor.
Lord Mayor Cllr Hussain said: “I felt extremely weak initially, the heart attack was incredibly hard on me. I felt very fatigued and did not like doing anything, but I made an effort from day one and now I am feeling much better.
“Just after the surgery, I took calls from residents. After a person phoned me six times, I answered his query about housing. I didn’t tell him that I was in the hospital, I said I was unwell, and a colleague will get in touch.
“I am back at work, doing my duties and being out-and-about, you only live once, as they say.”
When asked about why he jumped back into work so quickly after suffering a life-threatening heart attack, he responded: “Helping other people is my biggest priority and has been for the longest time. Everybody can do what they want for themselves but spending time in the community, helping those who need you, then is the biggest achievement in life.
“I was brought up this way, it is how I have always been. Some people think ‘why should we help?’ and I say, why shouldn’t we? You only live once; you won’t come back again so you should be remembered for the good things you do in this life.”
Cllr Hussain’s term as Lord Mayor of Bradford will end on 17 May when he will pass on his livery collar (the mayor’s necklace) to the next person assumed into the role.
He added: “I enjoyed every minute of being Lord Mayor of Bradford. It is a good job that the role is only for a year, it is a wonderful job but very demanding. I was privileged to take this on. I am grateful to have met so many people from different communities during my time.”