Rylan Clark had two heart failures amid gruelling divorce: ‘My heart had to be restarted’


Rylan Clark. (Getty)

Rylan Clark has revealed he suffered two heart failures during his 2021 divorce from his husband of six years.

Rylan announced the separation from Dan Neal on Instagram in July 2021, saying he made “a number of mistakes which I deeply regret and have inevitably led to the breakdown of our marriage.”

After the split, Rylan took four months off work. He revealed during his live show, An Evening With Rylan Clark on Wednesday, (21 September), that during this period he ended up in hospital.

“There were times my mum was genuinely concerned I had had a stroke,” he said, “my speech slurred, I couldn’t get any words out, it was like my body had shut down.”

“Twice last year I ended up at the back of an ambulance because my heart had failed.”

Rylan Clark.(Lorne Thomson/Redferns)
Rylan Clark.(Lorne Thomson/Redferns)

Rylan recalled how for a couple of weeks he could feel his “heart hurt” and although his mum tried to write it off as heartbreak, he knew it was something more.

“Your BPM [heartbeats per minute] should be 60 to 120 and mine was 248 and I could feel it and I knew it wasn’t right and it turns out my heart had to be restarted.

“I just remember laying in resus… and having all these pads on wit all these wires and not understanding what it was.”

Rylan described how a doctors gave him an injection to stop and reset his heart.

He “took a breath” and his heart was returned to a normal rhythm – doctors told him that they were unsure if this wold happen, and that they had wired him up to pads to electronically revive him if the worst happened. 

‘Thrown in the deep end’

Rylan’s mental health suffered greatly during his divorce.

“I did try and do stuff that I am not proud of now and I’m glad I was unsuccessful,” he said.

“When you are going to bed every single night wishing you don’t wake up and hoping to f**k that someone up there just takes you in the night and it won’t be your fault, it’s awful.”

When Rylan decided to return to work, he said things began to look up. “Sometimes wanting to be ready is more important than being ready and I’m glad I did that.

“When you are thrown in at that deep end you have to sink or swim and I thought, no-one is ruining my career. No-one is taking that away from me, I’ve worked too hard for it and I swam.”

Readers affected by the issues raised in this story are encouraged to contact Samaritans free on 116 123 (www.samaritans.org) or Mind on 0300 123 3393 (www.mind.org.uk). Readers in the US are encouraged to contact the National Suicide Prevention Line on 1-800-273-8255.

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