Coronation Street's Chris Fountain undergoes heart surgery after stroke
Former Coronation Street and Hollyoaks star Chris Fountain has revealed he’s undergone heart surgery following a stroke he had last year.
The actor, 35, first came to prominence when joining Hollyoaks in 2003, in which he played Justin Burton for six years.
In 2011 he joined Corrie, starring as Tommy Duckworth until 2013.
It was last year that Chris revealed he had been left fearing for his life after suffering a mini-stroke in August.
He’s now shared that in the aftermath of that medical emergency, he’s now had to undergo heart surgery.
On Friday he shared a series of photos and videos in hospital as he prepared for the procedure.
‘So the day’s arrived,’ he said in the first clip.
‘Just walking to hospital. Got the mother here for moral support. Here we go.’
He then explained exactly what the surgery would entail.
‘What they do is go in through my groin, go up to my heart and put this thing through where the hole is. And it leaves a metal umbrella and they pull it through,’ he said.
‘It leaves another little metal umbrella at the other side.
‘Then my heart grows around it — and hopefully, that should mean no more strokes. And I’ll have a little bionic heart.’
He added: ‘It’s a little bit nerve-wracking, as it’s a heart procedure, but apparently it’s 99.9% successful. I’ll have to take it easy for a week or so after it’s done. So yeah, we do [London Marathon] and then we go to do a heart operation, as you do.’
After he was out of the operating room, Chris said that although he was ‘still feeling a little bit woozy’ and his groin was ‘a little bit sore’, he was glad to be out the other end.
‘Thank you so much to everyone for the well-wishes. It means a lot,’ he added.
He then joked he was off for a little bit to ‘enjoy the afterglow of anesthesia.’
Signs and symptoms of a mini-stroke
Like a stroke, the signs and symptoms of a TIA usually begin suddenly.
It’s important to recognise the symptoms quickly and call 999 to ask for an ambulance straight away.
The main symptoms can be remembered with the word FAST:
- Face – the face may have dropped on 1 side, the person may not be able to smile, or their mouth or eye may have drooped.
- Arms – the person may not be able to lift both arms and keep them there, because of weakness or numbness in one arm.
- Speech – their speech may be slurred or garbled, or the person may not be able to talk at all, despite appearing to be awake; they may also have problems understanding what you’re saying to them.
- Time – it’s time to call 999 immediately if you notice any of these signs or symptoms.
The symptoms in the FAST test identify most strokes and TIAs, but a TIA can occasionally cause different symptoms that typically appear suddenly (usually over a few seconds).
Other signs and symptoms may include:
- complete paralysis of one side of the body
- sudden vision loss, blurred vision or double vision
- being sick
- difficulty understanding what others are saying
- problems with balance and co-ordination
- difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
Later in the day Chris was up and about walking through the hospital but admitted it had been a nervous day.
‘I have to be honest I was really quite nervous…it all became very real, but it was nice when I started to go to sleep and it was lovely,’ he said.
He shared he’d had some post-operation tests and it was ‘so far, so good’.
Speaking about his stroke in October, Chris had said he realised something was seriously wrong when waking up one day and struggling to get words out.
When he consulted doctors, he was told he’d suffered a Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA).
‘I just couldn’t believe it, there was a moment of sheer panic just fearing what it meant for the rest of my life,’ he told The Mirror at the time.
‘Would I have another one? Would the next one be even worse and I’d lose the use of my arms or legs? I was really scared and just broke down in tears,’ he shared.
Chris went on to explain how the clot ‘was a ticking timebomb on his brain’, and that he could have died if he had not sought medical help.
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