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What happened to Russell Watson and what illness did he have?


What happened to Russell Watson and what illness did he have? (Picture: ITV/Rex)

I’m A Celebrity star Russell Watson has openly spoken about previously suffering from brain tumours.

The classical singer, 53, is currently appearing on I’m A Celeb and living in camp with the likes of Shane Richie, Jessica Plummer and Jordan North, after joining the series as a late arrival alongside Ruthie Henshall.

Viewers have watched Russell open up about his previous illness, telling his campmates that he had ‘seen the light’ after experiencing a haemorrhage on his brain.

As he celebrated his birthday in camp, he revealed that every year he feels more ‘grateful’ to be turning a year older, given his previous health battle.

What happened to Russell Watson?

In 2005, Russell began experiencing painful headaches, that were initially diagnosed as being stress-related. The following year in 2006, Russell’s peripheral vision became affected and following a flight to LA, he was taken to hospital and underwent an MRI scan.

The singer suffered from two brain tumours (Picture: ITV/Rex)

It was revealed Russell had developed a pituitary adenoma – a tumour – the size of two golf balls and in the shape of a figure of eight; the first filling the frontal cavity of his skull and the second sitting at the top of his nose.

The tumour was benign and Russell underwent a five-hour emergency surgery to remove the tumour.

In 2007, Russell suffered from a second pituitary tumour. His tumour had grown back and another MRI scan revealed there was bleeding into his brain.

The star was forced to undergo emergency surgery.

What illness did Russell Watson have?

Russell was diagnosed with two pituitary adenomas – tumours that form in the pituitary gland, which is found towards the base of the brain and controls other glands within the body, in turn affecting the body’s functions.

The first tumour was benign and not life-threatening.

The star’s second tumour led to a brain haemorrhage and he was left in critical condition in intensive care. He underwent an operation to remove the tumour and was then required to have radiotherapy treatment.

Russell’s second tumour was life-threatening and required emergency surgery (Picture: Getty)

What has Russell Watson said about his illness?

Speaking in camp, Russell recalled falling ill with the second tumour.

‘The second one was holy s**t, I went home, went to bed and didn’t wake up because of a haemorrhage,’ he revealed. ‘My assistant found me, called the paramedics and I knew I was in trouble because the paramedic kept saying, “stay with us, stay with us.”‘

‘We got to the hospital and they operated. One of the most emotional things after I came out of intensive care was this bloke came up to me and said, “nice to see you’re doing well Mr Watson” and I realised it was “stay with us, stay with us,”‘ Russell said.

Asked if he’d ‘seen the light’, Russell replied ‘big time’ and explained: ‘I was in the MIR scanner and I could see this long strip of light, like when you’re a kid and you used to keep your bedroom door open.

Russell recalled being in intensive care while in camp (Picture: ITV/Rex)

‘It was a light strip and I was thinking if I go to that door I’m out of here and the pain stops and I’m away and all I could think about was my children and slowly slowly whilst thinking about my children the clatter clatter of the MRI came back and I thought I’m going to beat this.’

Russell has said that he struggled with feeling ‘depressed’ while recovering and would suffer from constant ‘mood swings’, as his pituitary gland, which controls hormone levels, had been affected.

‘It used to get me down, I would get very depressed,’ the tenor told Best magazine.

‘I’d go to bed at night, but wouldn’t be able to get to sleep – I’d panic because I thought I would die if I fell asleep.’

In a recent interview with The Sun, Russell joked that suffering from brain tumours has made him look more youthful.

Russell explained: ‘The type of illness I had is known for making you look like you have a younger looking face because I wasn’t producing certain hormones and not producing certain other ones.’

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