At 19, Danny Taberner was recovering from testicular cancer when he suffered a pulmonary embolism.
The young Latics fan was determined to overcome the setback and follow his dream of going to university to read civil engineering.
Now 24, Mr Taberner has gained not one but two degrees in the subject and is pursuing his ambitions as a civil engineer.
He was able to combine studying for his graduate and masters degrees with treatment for his condition thanks to a digital health service provided by the local NHS.
Now health chiefs in Wigan want more people to sign up for the self-testing service for warfarin users.
Mr Taberner said: “Self-testing gave me the freedom to work here, there and everywhere without having to go to the clinic.
“The service allowed me to enhance my career and pursue my ambitions as a civil engineer.”
The service is safe, easy to use and gives patients the freedom to carry out routine tests at home instead of having to visit a clinic or GP surgery every few weeks for regular check-ups.
Warfarin is the main oral anticoagulant used in the UK and is given to patients to reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke or other serious conditions.
An estimated 3,250 people taking the blood-thinning drug in Wigan.
The NHS wants more users to sign up for the service, which is free and available via GP surgeries throughout the town, thanks to Wigan Borough Federated Health Care
It launched in 2015 and has been well received by users and GPs alike.
One user said: “As someone who found it difficult to attend clinics due to pain levels, the service has been a Godsend to me.
“It also means my wife doesn’t need to take time off work to take me to my appointments.”
Another added: “The staff at my GP surgery have been really supportive, especially at the beginning when I struggled a little to use the self-testing kit.”
Dr Alastair Thompson, a local GP, said: “Getting patients to self manage is key because it improves the effectiveness of medication.
“It also increases collaboration between clinicians and patients, which leads to better health outcomes.”
The technology is provided by Inhealthcare, a UK leader in digital health and remote patient monitoring.
Bryn Sage, chief executive of Inhealthcare, said: “We are delighted with Danny’s progress to date and are proud to have played a small role in his recovery.
“As well as helping to improve the quality of life of patients, digital health and remote patient monitoring also helps to reduce pressure on hospital clinics and GP surgeries.
“This service isn’t just for young people like Danny. We have users who are in their late eighties who love our technology because it is so easy to use.”
Patients are equipped with a self-testing device worth £300 which allows them to take INR readings and send these, via Inhealthcare’s technology, to their clinic.
Any readings out of range instantly generate an alert for clinical attention.