Queen’s Brian May Reveals He Was ‘Very Near Death’ Following Gardening Accident & Heart Attack
By Leena Tailor
Queen rocker Brian May says he’s feeling thankful to “have a life to lead again” after a “near-death” heath ordeal.
The 72-year-old musician took to social media on Sunday to open up about his health struggles, which began with a “bizarre gardening accident.” While recovering from the debilitating incident, he ended up in a "nightmare world" after taking heavy-duty painkillers, and also experienced a heart attack.
“In the middle of the whole saga of the whole painful backside, I had a small heart attack,” he shared, in a video posted on Instagram. “I say ‘small’ -- it’s not something that did me any harm. It was about 40 minutes of pain in the chest and tightness and that feeling in the arms and sweating.”
After being driven to the hospital by his “wonderful” doctor, May says he underwent an angiogram, was diagnosed with three congested arteries and opted to have three stents inserted instead of open-heart surgery.
“I’m incredibly grateful that I now have a life to lead again,” May said. “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.”
In the video’s caption, May referred to the irony of Queen having previously released an album called Sheer Heart Attack.
“I always worried a little bit about that album title,” he admitted. “I wondered if it might upset some people who had actually had heart attacks. I’m actually quite relieved now that I’m in that club - and I don’t find it upsetting at all ! Take. care folks. And ... why did those discs in my spine get so squished? Well I think 50 years of running around with a guitar strap over my left shoulder holding a heavy guitar might have something to do with it ! But it probably WAS all worth it !”
Earlier in May, May shared how he had ended up in the hospital after managing to “rip my Gluteus Maximus to shreds in a moment of over-enthusiastic gardening.” The accident led to pain and struggles with movement, including walking. While doctors initially struggled to figure out the cause of his debilitating pain, an MRI of his lower spine showed he had a severely compressed sciatic nerve.
May posted an update on his pain and how he was coping Saturday, sharing how he had briefly relied on painkillers, which saw him end up in a "nightmare," but was feeling better after physiotherapy and osteopathy. He had also taken his first walk in the park since the incident.
“This nerve pain which came to inhabit my body about three weeks ago - no, it wasn’t a glute thing after all - has paralysed my brain,” he wrote on Instagram. “I felt it took over my personality. I woke up feeling that somehow the pain WAS me, and I was struggling to get back in my body. And I did give in and take the heavy duty painkillers, and in the end I was in a nightmare world.”
“The only thing to do was kick it all and come out,” he continued. “But I could only do that because I got some great physio help and some osteopathy. I’ll tell you the whole story sometime, but for now ... happy weekend - I hope everyone of you can find a spot to enjoy the life-giving sunshine.”