Saturday 24 March 2018

The Restaurant's John finally has live-saving transplant

TV's The Restaurant star John Healy has undergone a life-saving heart transplant operation.

The dapper 46-year-old maitre'd, who became a household name on the RTE show, had been awaiting the transplant after suffering two heart attacks.

Healy is now recovering in intensive care at the Mater Hospital in Dublin

His flatmate, TV producer and presenter Mark O'Neill, said: "John is comfortable at the moment. He got the call on Tuesday at 7.30pm and an ambulance had us in the Mater Hospital by 8pm. He is recovering well but is still in intensive care and will be there for a while yet. But he has all his friends and family around him and they are expecting him to wake up properly today."

Healy, originally from Naas in Co Kildare, suffered his first heart attack aged 41 in 2007 and has admitted that heavy smoking and drinking contributed to it.


He has also spoken of how the his hectic work schedule in restaurants based in London and New York also took a toll on his health.

"I probably had a weak heart. My diet was shocking. I smoked too much. I drank too much coffee. And I worked too hard under too much stress. I was consumed with, and addicted to work. I was 64kg at one stage and exhausted."

In January 2007, he had a heart attack.

"I remember waking up in hospital and thinking, 'Thanks be to God. I can stay in bed and do nothing for six weeks without feeling guilty.' I also thought, 'What am I doing to myself?'"

John, by this stage, had been off alcohol for a number of years, but soon started drinking a glass of wine a night to relax.

"It became a bottle of wine every night. I got myself into an awful state. I was also suffering from post-traumatic stress from the heart attack, with anxiety and depression, and I was taking medication and drinking with it. I got terrible nightmares. It was very hard to cope with them because there had been a lot of traumatic stuff in my childhood that I had forgotten about, and suddenly I was remembering it. I couldn't live with myself and I hated it. I was becoming suicidal. I knew I was in serious trouble."


He contacted the Ruthland Centre for treatment.

"It was the best thing I ever did," he says. Following his treatment, he also started doing The Restaurant, but in November 2009 he had another heart attack and ended up having heart failure.

He had been awaiting a donor heart ever since.


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