Page last updated at 12:43 GMT, Saturday, 11 October 2008 13:43 UK

Car bomb hero in intensive care

John Smeaton
Mr Smeaton was working as a baggage handler at the time of the terror attack

Glasgow Airport car bomb hero John Smeaton remains in a "stable" condition in a hospital intensive care unit after suffering a serious asthma attack.

Mr Smeaton, 32, was taken to the Royal Alexandra Hospital in his home town of Paisley on Thursday evening.

His fiance Christy MacPhedran, also 32, has flown in from the US to be by his hospital bedside.

Former baggage handler Mr Smeaton shot to fame after his efforts to foil the Glasgow terror attack on 30 June 2007.

He has regularly written about his poor health in a national newspaper column and spoke about his condition at an event in the Scottish Parliament to mark World Asthma Day.

A spokesman for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said his condition was "stable".

Publicly congratulated

Bilal Abdulla, 29, and Mohammed Asha, 28, went on trial at Woolwich Crown Court, south-east London, on Thursday accused of attempting to murder hundreds of people with car bombs in London and Glasgow. They deny all the charges against them.

Mr Smeaton, known by his nickname Smeato, is in the hospital where Mr Abdulla was working as a junior house officer in general surgery at the time of the airport attack.

He became a cult hero after telling TV reporters covering the aftermath of the attack: "This is Glasgow, you know - we'll set about you."

Since then, he has met Gordon Brown several times, and was publicly congratulated by the prime minister at the Labour Party conference in Bournemouth last year.

Last December Mr Smeaton travelled to New York to receive an Everyday Superhero award from TV news channel CNN, and has been given the Queen's Gallantry Medal, one of the highest civilian honours for bravery.

In an interview for Asthma Magazine published earlier this year, Mr Smeaton talked about his asthma and in particular about an attack he had when he was 19.

He told the magazine: "I just couldn't catch my breath - it was frightening. I was trying to breathe so hard that I ended up tearing my lung and I've never experienced such intense pain. It was like someone was stabbing me in the side."




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