George Michael has 'five-week memory gap' after illness


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George Michael has revealed he has a five-week gap in his memory from when he was fighting for his life.

The star, speaking at length about the battle with pneumonia which left his life in the balance, said it was "touch and go" whether he pulled through for three weeks.

Michael, 48, said he even had to learn to walk again as his muscles wasted away during his recovery from the illness late last year.

In an interview for Radio 2, he admitted: "It's like I just dodged a bullet."

He told presenter Chris Evans that the severity of the illness could have been avoided if he had followed advice to have a health check weeks earlier.

Michael had already been forced to axe a show at the Royal Albert Hall after his temperature and heart rate shot up, but shrugged off advice to get examined, assuming he had got over it.

"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.

"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."

Michael, who was treated in Vienna, had to axe a number of shows as medics brought him back from the brink.

And he said the team around him had deliberately "downplayed" his illness to avoid a clamour around the hospital.

"If they'd known how bad things were, it would have been a 'death watch' kind of thing," he said.

"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."

Michael - who has written new single White Light, about his experiences - said he was "very close" to death on several occasions.

"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."

Michael also confirmed that he is scheduled to perform at the Olympics closing ceremony.

"That's the plan yes, that I'll be playing a couple of songs to kick off the concert at the end," he told Evans during his Radio 2 breakfast show.