herald

Saturday 18 November 2017

‘I’m a heart attack waiting to happen’

GERRY RYAN predicted his own death in a chilling premonition just two months before he died.

In an interview with the Herald, Gerry told how he was "a heart attack waiting to happen".

The radio star, who died last Friday from a suspected heart attack, tragically predicted that his cardiac health was at serious risk due to his poor diet.

Gerry (53), who was known for his love of indulging in rich food, fine wines and whiskey, explained how he had been issued with repeated warnings from medical experts to change his ways.

The dad of five explained how his battle with the bulge was never ending and said that he was struggling to keep off the stone in weight that he had lost ahead of Operation Transformation last year.

"I'm a heart attack waiting to happen, I know that," he told the Herald at the time. "I've been warned about my diet many times. Sure I have the team on Operation Transformation's hearts broken by following my own programme instead of theirs.

"Dr Eva [Orsmond, a weight loss expert on the show] just can't understand how I find it so difficult to live a healthy lifestyle.

"I had lost a stone last year before the series began and I could really feel the difference. You have more energy when you're not carrying the extra bulk around.

"My cardiac health was a lot better last time I had it checked out and my blood pressure was at a good rate.

"Unfortunately I can feel it starting to creep up again, which is a worry. Your cholesterol and your heart are something you need to give more consideration to when you get to my age," he added.

The star was speaking at the Meteor Awards in the RDS, which he attended last February alongside his two eldest daughters, Lottie and Bonnie.

The proud dad also revealed his excitement about Lottie's forthcoming television show, which was due to address the topic of being the child of a famous parent.

Gerry spoke openly about his affection for new partner Melanie Verwoerd on the night, explaining that she hadn't accompanied him to the event as she was saving herself for the glitzy IFTAs ceremony at the Burlington hotel the following night.

The popular media personality credited the Unicef boss with setting a good example for him.

"She is much healthier than I am," the RTE broadcaster said. "She doesn't drink, she doesn't smoke and she eats proper food. She doesn't give me advice, she just sort of drops her head in frustration."

In another revealing interview with the Herald just weeks earlier to promote his weight-loss show, Gerry had shared his tips on how to shed those extra pounds without doing too much work.

"I've lost nearly a stone," he said at the time. "I think you can have an unsophisticated approach -- it doesn't have to be too scientific.

"I'm following my own programme, 'Gerry Ryan eats less'. I just cut down on my portions.

"I cut out potatoes and cut out bread, they're the big ones. I know there's a lot of controversy about the no-carb diet and I know you do need carbs in your diet, but you don't need 10 slices of bread or three bags of chips.

"I'm not doing phenomenal exercise because, to be perfectly honest, I couldn't really be bothered doing it. But I am doing a lot more walking and doing some swimming.

"I'm 53. I reckon if I can just maintain slow weight loss, keep up some level of cardiac or aerobic exercise, I'll be absolutely fine," he added.

Tragically the icon's words did not ring true and he died last Friday morning at his apartment on Leeson Street, where he was found by Melanie.

The broadcaster's remains were last night brought to his family home in Clontarf, where he will repose with his family before a private wake this afternoon.

Gerry will leave the family home tomorrow morning for his funeral mass at noon at St John the Baptist church on Clontarf Road.

The's star's heartbroken family have suggested that in lieu of flowers, Gerry's many friends and fans make a donation to their own personal charity of choice.

lnolan@herald.ie

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