Former X-Factor star Chico: I thought I was going to die

Former X Factor contestant Chico feared he would die alone in a car park after suffering a stroke while driving home from his job as a fitness instructor.
Chico on stageChico on stage
Chico on stage

The 47-year-old - who appeared in the 2005 series of the TV talent show and later released a number one single, It's Chico Time - had a 0.8in (2cm) clot on his brain, according to the Sun.

Chico - full name Chico Slimani - was driving to his home in north London from a fitness class in Bognor Regis, West Sussex, on September 15 when he fell ill and pulled over before vomiting and passing out.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He told the newspaper: "There was no sense of Chico. I was having a near-death experience. It was like I'm dying. I thought I was just about to take my last breath.

"I thought 'I'm parked in a car, without anyone around me, and I'm going to die alone'.

"The expression when your life flashes in front of you - it was like that. Like I was reaching this near-death experience. Time itself vanishes.

"I found myself saying in my mind 'I'm 47, and I really don't want to go because I don't feel I've accomplished what I came here to do'."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Chico managed to drive home and the next day held another fitness class, despite losing control of his left hand and struggling with his speech.

Twenty-four hours later he went to Barnet Hospital, where doctors confirmed he had had a stroke.

The father-of-two is now recovering at home and described himself as "a living, walking, talking miracle" after regaining 90% of his speech.

As well as reaching the quarter-finals of the 2005 series of The X Factor with his memorable performances, Chico later took part in Dancing On Ice.