We might be used to seeing the comedic side of Jason Byrne, but fans are now getting a glimpse at his serious side, as the Clear History panelist is opening up about his major heart surgery.
In October 2021 doctors discovered the comedian had three blocked arteries at just 49 years of age. Which required surgery and left him with five stents, tubes to keep the arteries open.
Sharing his experience undergoing the operation, which requires the patient to remain conscious, Jason told Miriam O’Callaghan on RTE Radio One: “You are awake for this, which is fine. They give you the fizzy juice, it’s lovely. He goes in through your wrist or your leg.”
Continuing: “He went through my leg. He’s putting the stents in, he put five in and said ‘I’ll show you on the X-ray pre-stents and what you were suffering’.”
“You could barely see, my heart was pumping away but just where the arteries were, you could barely see the blood. Then he said ‘now watch when I put the stents in’, he put it in and my heart lit up like a Christmas tree…”
While the idea of remaining awake during surgery may seem daunting, the Dubliner was quick to share how gentle and easy the operation was for him.
Telling Miriam: “I’m fully open, but it doesn’t hurt. It feels like someone is rummaging around in you for only a few seconds. They’re brilliant and are talking to you. It’s not like highly-invasive heart surgery. There’s auld fellas in their 80s with their flat caps on, no bother to them.”
The comedian also urged face to get their heart health checked as well, stressing the importance of routine checkups, explaining if he hadn’t the situation would have been dire.
Confessing: “It would have completely blocked up. When I went to rehab a few of the lads did have full on heart attacks with fully blocked arteries but the paramedics got to them on time and were able to keep them going.”
‘I also said “did I waste my time running and training? What was I doing, I should have just sat on the couch.”
But his doctor pointed pointed out: “if you had sat on the couch you wouldn’t have moving so your heart rate would never have gone up… you would have probably keeled over.”