Brian Blessed health: Actor ‘feels like a man of 20’ after treatment for deadly condition

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In the opening scenes of the Shakespeare play at the Holy Trinity Church in Guildford, Surrey, the Flash Gordon actor suddenly dropped from a raised platform. Moments later, fellow actor Noel White told the audience: “Ladies and Gentlemen, this is not part of the play.”

White asked the audience if there were any medical professionals among them.

After being examined by a local surgeon, he was taken off stage within a matter of minutes to the sound of the audience clapping.

But Blessed, who had previously scaled Everest and trained as an astronaut, returned after 20 minutes and was heard whispering “Let’s keep going!” to a colleague.

Blessed said aloud: “I feel such an idiot and am not in the habit of doing this, but I have a little fibrillation.”

Atrial fibrillation is a heart condition that results in irregular and an abnormally fast heart-rate.

Despite shrugging the problem off, just over a week later he pulled out of the show and the next month he was taken to surgery and fitted with a £27,000 pacemaker, reported the Daily Mail.

A pacemaker is a small electrical device which is implanted in your chest, which sends electrical signals to your heart to keep it beating regularly.

Most modern pacemakers adjust to discharge electrical impulses in response to the body’s needs.

Talking to the Mirror about the surgery at the time, he said: “I had severe fibrillation, but the reason is this old bugger has climbed Everest three times, walked across the North Pole, scaled mountains and ­volcanoes and trained as an astronaut.

“I’ve taken terrible risks, and I’ve put my heart under severe strain.

“But do you know what… my heart has been voted by Prince Phillip’s surgeons as the strongest they’ve seen in a man of my age.”

Recently, the star has worked with the British Society for Heart Failure as part of a campaign to raise awareness about heart failure.

In May 2021, Blessed posted a video online to support the charity’s Freedom from Failure – The F Word.

“I’ll be 85 in October… ultimately, long story short, I have had a pacemaker put in me and I now feel like a man of 20,” he said.

“I won’t let problems of the heart stop me,” added the actor.

In some cases, hearts with fibrillation can beat even faster than 100 beats per minute, causing dizziness, shortness of breath and tiredness.

The condition can lead to blood clots in the heart, increasing the chances of stroke and heart failure.

The process of implanting pacemakers is a straightforward procedure, carried out while you’re awake under local anaesthetic, according to the NHS.

The electrical generator is placed under the skin near to the collarbone on the left side of the chest.

The procedure takes roughly an hour and people leave the hospital on the same day after surgery.

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