‘Doctors said I could have spent the rest of my life in a wheelchair’- Blue star Duncan James opens up about his horrific experience after back operation
Published 07/08/2016 | 13:50
Duncan James has opened up about the aftermath of serious back surgery, which he said could have left him paralysed.
The singer turned actor (38) was forced to undergo two emergency surgeries to free a trapped nerve after doctors feared the damage could leave him in a wheelchair, unable to use his legs.
Although successful, in the weeks after surgery Duncan was rushed to hospital with life-threatening complications.
According to The Mirror he said: “I had an MRI at the hospital in June and they rushed me to surgery. They said if they didn’t operate that same day I’d be paralysed because a nerve that was trapped would die
“I’d also lost control of my bladder. They said I might have to be catheterised permanently. I couldn’t believe it. I thought that only happened to old people.”
One week after being discharged Duncan revealed he began experiencing headaches and swelling. The former Blue star revealed that spinal fluid began to escape from his wound and he was rushed to hospital.
“I was getting headaches like I’ve never had before,” he said.
“And I could feel a swelling in my back that I knew wasn’t right. I could feel the pressure pushing down on my wound. It was a Saturday night, and I was with my mum watching TV. Suddenly I’m soaking wet.
“My back had opened and all this fluid, called cerebrospinal fluid, was just pouring out of me. I called the hospital who told me to lay on my front and not to touch my wound.
“They were worried about bacterial meninigitis which is really serious.
“So I was taken back to hospital that night to have an emergency operation to fix this leak,” he said.
Duncan was expected to join the cast of Hollyoaks earlier summer, but had to put his plans on hold as he recovered.
“I was supposed to be starting on Hollyoaks that Monday. My mum was in bits, completely and utterly panicked.
“I had tubes coming out of everywhere. Going in for the operation I was really, really scared.
“I didn’t know what was going on. It felt very serious, and I did think, ‘Am I going to come out of this?’
“My mum was holding my hand as I was being wheeled to theatre, and I said to her, ‘Mum, do you think I’m going to die?’
“She said ‘Don’t be so silly’, but I could see the tears in her eyes. I felt bad for saying it,” he said.
The star, who has an 11-year-old daughter, has been able to return to work and will make his Hollyoaks debut as policeman Ryan Knight next week.