Hannah Yasharoff, USA TODAY
Published 9:35 a.m. ET May 25, 2020 | Updated 9:37 a.m. ET May 25, 2020
At the London premiere of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor admire Rami Malek’s portrayal of late singer Freddie Mercury, while Malek basks in their approval. (Oct. 24)
Brian May of Queen revealed to his followers Monday that amid what appeared to be a gardening accident earlier this month, he suffered a heart attack.
Addressing “the truth about what happened” earlier this month because “people are kind of making up stories,” May, 72, shared in an Instagram video posted late Sunday that he did have a tear in his “gluteus maximus,” but the issues didn’t stop there.
“I told you I had a ripped muscle. Now, that was the way I was diagnosed,” he said. “We thought it was a bizarre gardening accident. It was amusing, really. … But it turned out to not really be the case.”
After diagnosing the tear, “no other tests were done,” May said. But a week later he was still on “severe painkillers” and experiencing serious pain, so he went back for a second MRI that revealed a severely compressed sciatic nerve.
“I could not believe the pain,” he said. “That’s why I had the feeling that someone was putting a screwdriver in my back the whole time. It was excruciating.”
‘The pain is relentless’: Queen guitarist Brian May hospitalized after tearing buttocks while gardening
The star revealed to followers on May 6 that he visited the hospital after the gardening incident.
“I thought I was a very healthy guy and everyone said, ‘You’ve got a great blood pressure, you’ve got a great heart rate,’ and I keep fit,” 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 and the feeling in the arms and sweating.”
May’s doctors discovered he had three congested arteries “that were in danger of blocking the supply of blood to my heart.” He said there was “a lot of pressure” to go through with triple bypass surgery, but after weighing other options, he opted for stent surgery instead, which allowed for a much shorter recovery time.
“I was very lucky to be treated as an emergency case, but I think it kind of was an emergency,” he said with a laugh. “But they were very kind.”
The musician says he now feels he’s “in good shape for some time to come” and urges others his age to get an angiogram, because he had “no idea” his heart wasn’t in good shape.
“We’ve all got to really look at ourselves as we get to the autumn years. What seems to be a very healthy heart may not be,” he concluded. ” I would get it checked if I were you. I will get it checked. … But I’m incredibly grateful that I now have a life to lead again. I was actually very near death. … But I’m good. I’m here. I’m ready to rock.”