Queen Guitarist Brian May Says He's 'Incredibly Grateful' to Be Alive After Suffering Heart Attack


Brian May is on the mend after suffering a heart attack.

On Sunday, the Queen guitarist, 72, posted a video on Instagram, in which he shared details of his recent health scare, which came after the musician revealed earlier this month that he tore his butt muscles to "shreds" while gardening.

May said, however, that the tear in his gluteus maximus was not the sole cause of his "agony," which persisted a week after doctors identified the initial issue.

"I could not believe the pain," May said in the video. "… Eventually I had another MRI, but this time I had one of the lower spine, and sure enough … I had a compressed sciatic nerve — quite severely compressed — and that's why I had this feeling that someone was putting a screwdriver in my back."

The performer said he's "much better now" and free of that "excruciating" pain, but that there was more to his health story.

While he said he thought he was a "very healthy guy," he revealed that he had a "small heart attack" amid the process of treating the pain in his backside.

"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," he explained. "… Long story short, my wonderful doctor drove me to the hospital himself."

At the hospital, May received an angiogram, which indicated that he had three arteries that were congested and "in danger of blocking the supply of blood to my heart."

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May said that he was advised to have open-heart surgery, adding that he'd "regret" not having the triple bypass. Others, however, told him he could have three stents put in, which is the medical route he ultimately opted for.

"It wasn't easy," May said of the procedure. "The only reason it wasn't easy for me is because of the pain, the excruciating pain I had in my leg. Otherwise, it would have been a doddle."

Afterward, he said, it felt as if nothing had happened: "I couldn't feel anything, and I still can't; it's been amazing."

"It's an incredible operation done by the right skillful person and I thank them from the bottom of my heart," he said. "Because I walked out with a heart that's very strong now, so I think I'm in good shape for some time to come."

May said that he "could have died" from the state of his arteries, which he wouldn't have known about if he hadn't had the angiogram test.

"Anyway, I didn't die, I came out," he said, adding that he's no longer on pain killers. "… I'm incredibly grateful that I now have a life to lead again. … I'm good, I'm here, and I'm ready to rock."

"My medical adventures !" May began his caption for the video on Instagram, going on to reference his band's 1974 album Sheer Heart Attack. "Hmm … Sheer Heart Attack eh ? Well, I think I always worried a little bit about that album title. 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 !"

He continued: "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 !"

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