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Queen guitarist Brian May survives heart attack, is now 'ready to rock'

He urged fans to take their heart health seriously.
Image: Brian May, the guitarist of Queen, performs at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif., in 2019.
Brian May, the guitarist of Queen, performs at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif., on July 19, 2019.Mario Anzuoni / Reuters file

Queen guitarist Brian May revealed Sunday night that he recently suffered what he described as a near-fatal heart attack, but he proclaimed that he's now on the mend and is "ready to rock."

On Instagram, May, 72, explained a series of funny and scary health challenges he's faced recently, starting with a gardening accident.

"People find it amusing," May said in his 7½-minute talk to fans. "I had an MRI — and yes, I did have a rip in my gluteus maximus."

But the torn muscle was just start of his crazy little tour with doctors.

"A week later, I'm still in agony, I mean real agony. I wanted to jump at some points," May said. "I could not believe the pain."

An MRI revealed that he had a compressed sciatic nerve in his lower spine.

"And that's why I had this feeling that someone was putting a screwdriver in my back the whole time," he said. "It was excruciating."

Then one day, for about 40 minutes, he felt tightness in his chest and pain in his arms.

"In the middle of the whole saga of the painful backside, I had a small heart attack," May said. "To cut a long story short, my wonderful doctor drove me to the hospital himself."

An angiogram revealed a massive blockage that could have been deadly, he said.

"They looked at me and said, 'Brian, I'm sorry, this is a little more complicated that we thought,'" he said. "Nothing could tell me that I was about to be in real, real trouble, because I could have died from the blockages that were there."

May received three stents to keep his arteries flowing and his heart pumping.

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He thanked his doctors and urged fans to take heart health seriously.

"We all have to really look at ourselves as we get later to the autumn years, and what seems to be a very healthy heart may not be, and I would get it checked if I were you," he said.

"I'm very grateful, I'm incredibly grateful, that I now have a life to lead again. I was actually very near death because of this."

He added: "But I'm good. I'm here and I'm ready to rock."