Flamin’ heck: Home and Away star’s new heart shock
Ray Meagher's sense of humour remains as healthy as ever, but the Home and Away larrikin has revealed he has undergone more heart surgery, after a shock triple bypass last year.
The 76-year-old actor, beloved around the world as Summer Bay statesman Alf Stewart, said he suffered "a few twinges" while doing his post-op exercise six months after his surgery.
But a prompt GP visit discovered the blocked artery, with a Sydney surgeon inserting a life-saving stent within 24 hours of his doctor's visit.
The jovial TV star joked he was now "ready to take on the marathon at the Tokyo Games, where I'm sure I will medal, as they say;" but used his health scare to remind Australians to commit to regular check-ups.
Meagher has also lent his celebrity to a new Heart Foundation campaign, supporting its fundraiser, 'Give With Heart Day' - this Wednesday.
"For me, it's the same old message: people have got to get checked," Meagher told News Corp Australia.
"Blokes feel like they're hypochondriacs or wooses, or something, if they've got a bit of a twinge and tend to ignore it. Not all blokes, but a lot do and I think men are worse than women in ignoring those things. Like it's a dreadful sign of weakness … I don't know what the rationale is, but they don't listen to the body and you've got to," he said, firmly.
"If you're getting a bit of a niggle, then go and see your GP and he'll send you to the right people. You might be alive instead of dead, and I think that's a better option."
Meagher has been diligent about maintaining a healthy diet and keeping up exercise, even while filming the Channel 7 long-running soap.
"Instead of letting assistant directors or runners drive you from wherever the unit base is on location, down to the set, I always say 'give me a little bit of notice when they need us' and I walk each way."
He added: "The old ticker can creep up on you without giving you warnings and some people aren't as lucky as me. They don't get the bloody warning or a twinge … just bang [and gone]. It is just so important to get checked and on a regular basis."
Donate today and every dollar donated by October 7 will be quadrupled by the Heart Foundation's donors.
Originally published as Flamin' heck: Home and Away star's new heart shock