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George Michael "dodged a bullet" to return to full health

BANG Showbiz   | July 18, 2012 13:25 IST (New Delhi)
George Michael

The singer was hospitalised with the potentially-life threatening illness last November and admits he "dodged a bullet" in returning to full health.

George Michael lost five weeks of his life when he contracted pneumonia.

The 48-year-old singer was hospitalised with the potentially-life threatening illness in Vienna, Austria, last November and admits he "dodged a bullet" in returning to full health.

George Michael - who had pulled out of a show in London's Royal Albert Hall weeks before he was rushed to hospital - said: "It's like I just dodged a bullet. I cancelled that show but didn't get myself checked out. I took it for granted that I'd just fought off flu. I went and played for another three weeks in Europe. And then one afternoon I was having lunch and suddenly felt really odd and said to everyone that I need to go and lay down for half an hour on my own. And that's the last thing I remember for five weeks. It was three weeks of them trying to save my life and two weeks awake."

The singer - whose new single White Light was inspired by his brush with death - admits he was like a "feeble old man" as he recovered from the illness and even had to learn to walk again because his muscles had wasted away.

He told BBC Radio 2's Chris Evans: "I literally had to learn to walk again and weird stuff, because when they keep you sedated for that long your muscles literally atrophy at an incredible rate. And I just woke up like this feeble old man."

The Faith hitmaker still struggles to talk about the period of illness, but admits the severity of his condition was played down to avoid more scrutiny.

He said: "If they'd known how bad things were, it would have been a 'death watch' kind of thing. So it wasn't until I came out that we told people, that they had any clue. But for three weeks it was touch and go. I think maybe the reason I find it still a little bit upsetting to talk about is that because it was so random. When something like that happens in such a random fashion I think it takes a while to think that life is safe again."

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