George Michael feels "very weak but amazing"

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George Michael feels "very weak but amazing"

Post  eddie on Sat Dec 24, 2011 3:03 pm

George Michael reveals he came close to death during treatment for pneumonia

The frail-looking singer says he feels 'weak but amazing' at a press conference outside his home in north London

Sam Jones

guardian.co.uk, Friday 23 December 2011 15.31 GMT



George Michael has revealed how close he came to dying from pneumonia, describing his recent battle against the illness as "touch and go" and "by far the worst month of my life".

The singer, who was treated at an Austrian hospital after falling ill while on tour last month, said he felt "very weak but amazing" after returning to the UK.

Speaking to reporters at a hastily convened press conference outside his north London home, a thin, emotional and frail-looking Michael said he was not supposed to speak for long as he was recovering from a tracheotomy.

He said: "It was by far the worst month of my life, but I am incredibly, incredibly fortunate to be here – and to have picked up the bug where I did."

Fighting back tears, the singer said he had "woken up" in the hospital 10 days ago and had played down the gravity of his illness to avoid alarming his fans. "I got streptococca-something … It's a form of pneumonia and they spent three weeks keeping me alive basically," he said.

The 48-year-old former Wham! singer thanked all those who had sent messages and support – and paid tribute to the medical staff who cared for him. He said he had spent the 10 days since he woke up thanking those who kept him alive.

The singer said his family, fans and "the fact that I still have plenty to live for" had helped him pull through the illness. He added: "I have an amazing, amazing life and if I wasn't spiritual enough before the last four or five weeks then I certainly am now."

He also said he would make up the cancelled dates of his Symphonica tour. "The plan is to play to every single person who had a ticket," he said. "And I would like to play one show for the doctors in the hospital in Austria who saved my life."

Michael posed for photographers in front of a Christmas tree on a green across the road from his house. Asked if he would pose without his dark glasses, he smiled and said: "No, I'm sorry."

Before he appeared, an assistant had brought out a plate of mince pies for the waiting reporters and photographers. Michael wished them all a happy Christmas and said: "I hope you enjoyed your mince pies."

Last month, doctors at the AKH hospital in Vienna said Michael had been in intensive care because of the severity of the illness and made clear he would need a complete rest to recover. But they emphasised he had no further underlying health problems.

In a statement, professors Gottfried Locker and Christoph Zielinski said: "The latest development in Mr Michael's case, which has evolved from a severe pneumococcal infection, necessitated intensive care due to its severity and extension. We are happy to announce that Mr Michael is improving steadily with an impressive regression of pneumonic symptoms, and follows a steady rate of improvement as hoped.

"There are no other health issues with regards to the patient other than the underlying pneumonic disorder, and no further measures had to be taken."

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Re: George Michael feels "very weak but amazing"

Post  eddie on Sat Dec 24, 2011 3:11 pm

George Michael gives tearful account of near-death pneumonia ordeal

George Michael tells media that Vienna hospital ordeal has given him a new perspective on his showbiz career

Peter Walker

guardian.co.uk, Friday 23 December 2011 18.44 GMT

For a man still so weak that just speaking left him labouring for breath, and whittled by illness to a frame even leaner than it was during his adolescent stardom, George Michael looked curiously ecstatic. The reason soon became clear: he was fortunate, and inexpressibly grateful, just to be alive.

The singer's fleeting, tearful appearance before a hastily summoned scrum of media representatives on a grassed square outside his home in Highgate, north London, was a first public appearance since he was confined to a hospital in Vienna a month ago, suffering from acute pneumonia.

While brief official bulletins had said that the 48-year-old was seriously ill, Michael explained that he had spent some days on the brink of death.

His condition had been "touch and go" for a couple of weeks, he explained, pausing several times to swallow back tears. Unknown to fans and the wider public, doctors performed a tracheotomy to keep his airways open, he said, and he regained consciousness 10 days ago.

"They spent three weeks keeping me alive basically," he said, frame hunched into the now oversized shoulders of a black overcoat. "I don't want to take you through all of it because some of it I want to protect my family from and I'm sure I'll get it all written down, but it was basically by far the worst month of my life.

"I'm incredibly, incredibly fortunate to be here and incredibly fortunate to have picked up this bug where I did, because apparently the hospital in Austria that they rushed me to was absolutely the best place in the world I could have been, to deal with pneumonia. So I have to believe that somebody thinks I've still got some work to do here."

This notion of a fresh start, or a second chance, was one he returned to several times. "I'm a new man," he explained when asked if the illness had made him reassess life.

It was, in part, the prospect of resuming the European concert tour cut short by the illness which helped him recover, said Michael, who returned to London on Thursday. Asked what kept him going, he said: "My family, the thought of all the people I still had to play to. The fact that I've been so lucky, and the fact that I still have plenty to live for. I have an amazing, amazing life, and if I wasn't spiritual enough before the last four, five weeks then I certainly am now."

This enforced reassessment came just as the singer appeared to have gained a renewed focus in both his career and wider life. Following a period when his appearances in the media seemed mainly connected to self-proclaimed energetic consumption of cannabis – he was jailed briefly 15 months ago for crashing his Range Rover into a shopfront while under the influence of the drug – Michael's interrupted Symphonica tour, which saw him reinterpret old hits with the backing of an orchestra, won widespread praise.

In May he announced plans for a "gay collaborative" album, saying he wished in part to atone for not openly professing his sexuality until 1998 when he was arrested in a public toilet in Beverly Hills.

Michael was admitted to the AKH hospital in Vienna 45 dates into the tour after contracting the virulent streptococcus pneumoniae bacterium. Doctors released a statement last month saying that while he was very ill there were "no other health issues".

Despite the severity of the illness, Michael, eyes shielded by tinted glasses he declined to take off when asked by photographers, promised to complete the tour.

Asked how bad his health had been, he replied: "I'd say touch and go for a couple of weeks. We played it down. I didn't want to worry my fans too much, and I'm really sorry that I couldn't contact them in any way before now, but I was really not in any state to. But I promise them, absolutely without question, the plan is to play to every single person who had a ticket."

Pausing several times for tears, he added: "Also, actually, I would like to play one other show, for the doctors in the hospital in Austria that saved my life. I spent the last 10 days since I woke up literally thanking people for saving my life, which is something I've never had to do before, and I don't want to have to do it again.

"I really, really, really, really, from the bottom of my heart, thank everybody who sent messages, and everyone in that IC unit that made sure that I'm still here today. I really can't say any more as I'm still getting over the tracheotomy."

Despite his visible frailness, Michael's repeated message – appropriate to the season and his position in front of a Christmas tree – was of joy. "I feel amazing. I mean, I'm very weak but I feel amazing."

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Re: George Michael feels "very weak but amazing"

Post  Yakima Canutt on Tue Jan 03, 2012 5:14 am

I want to know about the other fella from Wham!. Still consumed by bitterness and a slow, burning rage or has he found one niggling shred of resignation in this pig and toucan show known as the Virgo Supercluster?


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Re: George Michael feels "very weak but amazing"

Post  eddie on Wed Jan 04, 2012 12:12 am

^

He's probably working on the gateline of a London Underground Tube station.

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