QUEEN guitarist Brian May has revealed that he recently suffered a "small heart attack." The episode left him "very near death," but says he's now feeling remarkably well after being fitted with three stents — tiny tubes that can hold open blocked arteries.
Earlier in the month, the 72-year-old musician injured his buttocks and assumed assumed the injury was the cause of the pain he was feeling. Still in "agony," May had an MRI of his spine done, revealing a compressed sciatic nerve, the result, he said, of, "50 years of running around with a guitar strap over my left shoulder holding a heavy guitar." According to the guitarist, the nerve was "quite severely compressed and that's why I had this feeling that someone was putting a screwdriver in my back."
In a video posted to Instagram, May said: "In the middle of the whole saga of the painful backside, I had a small heart attack. I say small — it's not something that did me any harm. It was about 40 minutes of pain in the chest and tightness. It's that feeling in the arms and sweating. And you kind of know — you've heard things and you think, 'This is a heart attack.' To cut a long story short, my wonderful doctor drove me to the hospital himself and I had an angiogram.
At the hospital, May found out he had three blocked arteries, and was treated by medics as an "emergency case."
"I actually turned out to have three arteries which were congested and in danger of blocking the supply of blood to my heart," he said.
May said that after an "incredible operation" by medics, he walked out of the hospital, feeling "as if nothing happened." He said: "I couldn't feel that they've been in here, I couldn't feel anything… I walked out with a heart that's very strong now. So I think I'm in good shape for some time to come."
"I'm incredibly grateful that I know have a life to lead again," he added. "I was actually very near death because of this, but the pain that I had was from something completely different, it's funny how things work.... I'm good, I'm here and I'm ready to rock."
Last month, May and his QUEEN bandmates released a new version of their iconic song "We Are the Champions" in support of workers on the frontline fighting coronavirus. May, drummer Roger Taylor and singer Adam Lambert teamed up to record "You Are The Champions", with all proceeds going towards the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization.
QUEEN + ADAM LAMBERT was scheduled to embark on the European leg of its "Rhapsody" tour, but the ongoing pandemic led the musicians to postpone the dates.