WHEN Gorseinon mum Ann Veck was told she had Legionnaires Disease doctors said she was lucky to have contracted the illness.
Initially puzzled by the comment she was told that if she hadn't been admitted to hospital then she may not have discovered she had bowel cancer.
The mum-of-three, of Plas Croseo, Kingsbridge, said she was thankful she had caught the cancer in its early stages before it spread.
"I never thought I would ever say I am glad I caught Legionnaires." she said.
"Everything happens for a reason and if I hadn't contracted the disease I wouldn't have known I had the tumour. It was in its second stage when it was picked up and it was 99 per cent removed."
Ann, 67, who serves on Llwchwr Council, said she had been ill for a few days with flu symptoms before her doctor admitted her to hospital last July.
"I have diabetes and I came home from a meeting feeling a bit light headed and shivery," she said.
"I thought my blood sugars had dropped too low and I had food and went to sleep. That was on the Wednesday and by the Sunday I couldn't get out of bed. I was aching, feeling short of breath and felt lethargic and tired.
"I thought I need antibiotics but it looked as if I had signs of pneumonia so I was taken into hospital.
"After tests I was told I had Legionnaires — I didn't really know what that was. I thought you caught it from going abroad or by drinking dirty water. I had only been to Barry!"
When doctors found the tumour they could not operate until the Legionnaires had gone — a month later.
"I didn't want to know about the cancer. I felt too ill to think about something else. I had the operation to remove the tumour and I had a course of chemotherapy. I had no symptoms. I am very lucky to have found it early."
Nine months on from her horrific ordeal she is now slowly on the road to recovery.
She said: "It was my first time in hospital apart from having my children and all the staff and nurses were fantastic."
Mrs Veck plans to hold a coffee morning in aid of the chemotherapy unit at Singleton Hospital on Saturday, May 31 at Loughor Welfare Hall starting at 10am.