Queen’s Brian May ‘grateful’ to recover after suffering heart attack

Queen guitarist Brian May revealed he's recovering after suffering a heart attack that he called a "near-death experience".

In a video posted to Instagram on Sunday night, May shared details about a series of health scares that began last month after he injured his gluteus maximus in a gardening incident. However, May said he was still in agonising pain a week later and went back for another MRI.

There, doctors discovered he had a "quite severely" compressed sciatic nerve. "That's why I had this feeling that someone was putting a screwdriver in my back," May said, adding "I had been putting icepacks in the wrong place".

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Rock band 'Queen' in London to receive a British Phonographic Institute Platinum , Gold and Silver award for record sales. (l-r) John Deacon, Freddie Mercury, Roger Taylor and Brian May. (Photo by PA Images via Getty Images)
(MANDATORY CREDIT Koh Hasebe/Shinko Music/Getty Images) Queen, photo session for 'Music Life' magazine, at Hotel Pacific Tokyo on their Night At The Opera Japan tour, Tokyo, Japan, 21 March 1976. L-R Brian May, Roger Taylor, Freddie Mercury, John Deacon. It was the band's second Japanese tour. (Photo by Koh Hasebe/Shinko Music/Getty Images)
1975: British rock band Queen (clockwise from top: Brian May, Freddie Mercury, Roger Taylor and John Deacon pose for an Electra Records publicity still to promote their album 'A Night at the Opera' in 1975. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
(MANDATORY CREDIT Koh Hasebe/Shinko Music/Getty Images) Queen at the Tokyo Prince Hotel's garden, April 20th, 1975. (Photo by Koh Hasebe/Shinko Music/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - circa 1977: NASSAU COLISEUM Photo of QUEEN and Roger TAYLOR and Freddie MERCURY and Brian MAY and John DEACON, Posed studio group portrait L-R Roger Taylor, Freddie Mercury, Brian May and John Deacon (Photo by Richard E. Aaron/Redferns)
NETHERLANDS - 22nd NOVEMBER: Freddie Mercury (1946-1991), John Deacon, Brian May and Roger Taylor from Queen posed on the set of the Dutch TV show TopPop on 22nd November 1974. (Photo by Mark and Colleen Hayward/Redferns)
An image of Freddie Mercury appears on screen as Brian May, left, and Adam Lambert of Queen perform at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Freddie Mercury did not live to see what would have been his 70th birthday on Monday, but he still got a stellar present: The International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet Center officially renamed an asteroid after the late Queen singer. Formerly known as Asteroid 17473, the object was first discovered in 1991, the year of Mercury's death, and will now be known as Asteroid Freddiemercury. The announcement was made by Mercury's Queen band mate Brian May in a video first played at a gathering in Mercury's honor. "It's just a dot of light, but it's a very special dot of light," May said of the asteroid. The video concludes with some footage of Asteroid Freddiemercury set to Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now," which includes Mercury singing, "I"m a shooting star leaping through the sky." Watch it below. frameborder="0" allowFullScreen>
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TORONTO, ON - AUGUST 30: Freddie Mercury of British rock band Queen performing at CNE Grandstand in Toronto on August 30th, 1980. (Dick Darrell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - AUGUST 30: Freddie Mercury of British rock band Queen performing at CNE Grandstand in Toronto on August 30th, 1980. (Dick Darrell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - AUGUST 30: Freddie Mercury of British rock band Queen performing at CNE Grandstand in Toronto on August 30th, 1980. (Dick Darrell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - AUGUST 30: Freddie Mercury of British rock band Queen performing at CNE Grandstand in Toronto on August 30th, 1980. (Dick Darrell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
(left to right) Drummer Roger Taylor, singer Freddie Mercury (1946 - 1991), guitarist Brian May and bassist John Deacon of British rock band Queen pose in London, England in 1973. (Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images)
(left to right) Bassist John Deacon, singer Freddie Mercury (1946 - 1991), drummer Roger Taylor and guitarist Brian May of British rock band Queen performing on stage in 1974. (Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images)
(MANDATORY CREDIT Koh Hasebe/Shinko Music/Getty Images) John Deacon, Roger Taylor and Freddie Mercury of Queen being interviewed outside their offices in London for Japanese music magazine 'Music Life', 13th June 1974. Brian May was absent because of flu. (Photo by Koh Hasebe/Shinko Music/Getty Images)
(MANDATORY CREDIT Koh Hasebe/Shinko Music/Getty Images) Roger Taylor, John Deacon and Freddie Mercury of Queen being interviewed at their office in London for Japanese music magazine 'Music Life', 13th June 1974. Brian May was absent because of flu. (Photo by Koh Hasebe/Shinko Music/Getty Images)
L-R John Deacon, Freddie Mercury, Roger Taylor and Brian May of Queen perform 'Killer Queen' on Top Pop TV show on 22nd November 1974 in Hilversum, Netherlands. Brian May plays a Fender Stratocaster guitar. (Photo by Gijsbert hanekroot/Redferns)
NETHERLANDS - 22nd NOVEMBER: John Deacon, Freddie Mercury (1946-1991), Roger Taylor and Brian May from Queen perform on the set of the Dutch TV show TopPop on 22nd November 1974. Guitarist Brian May plays a Fender Statocaster guitar. (Photo by Mark and Colleen Hayward/Redferns)
UNSPECIFIED - FEBRUARY 01: Photo of QUEEN; L-R John Deacon, Freddie Mercury, Roger Taylor (behind) and Brian May performing on stage (Photo by Fin Costello/Redferns)
British rock band Queen posing with actress and Queen Elizabeth II look-alike, Jeannette Charles, September 1974. The group are (left to right) drummer Roger Taylor, guitarist Brian May, bassist John Deacon and singer Freddie Mercury (1946 - 1991). (Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images)
(MANDATORY CREDIT Koh Hasebe/Shinko Music/Getty Images) Queen in the hotel garden, Tokyo, April 22, 1975. (Photo by Koh Hasebe/Shinko Music/Getty Images)
(MANDATORY CREDIT Koh Hasebe/Shinko Music/Getty Images) Queen at the hotel, Tokyo, March 1976. (Photo by Koh Hasebe/Shinko Music/Getty Images)
INGLEWOOD, CA - MARCH 09, 1976: (L-R) Musicians Freddie Mercury and John Deacon of Queen perform in concert on March 9, 1976 at The Santa Monica Civic Auditorium in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Jeffrey Mayer/Getty Images)
Queen rock band, Roger Taylor, John Deacon, Brian May and Freddie Mercury (left to right), with silver, gold and platinum awards they recieved from the British Phonographic Institute, for the sales of Bohemian Rhapsody and two albums. (Photo by PA Images via Getty Images)
INGLEWOOD, CA - MARCH 2, 1977: Musician Brian May of Queen perform in concert on March 2, 1977 at The Forum in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Jeffrey Mayer/Getty Images)
INGLEWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 18, 1977: Musician/singer Freddie Mercury of Queen performs in concert on December 18, 1977 at The Forum in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Jeffrey Mayer/Getty Images)
INGLEWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 22, 1977: (L-R) Musicians Freddie Mercury, John Deacon, Roger Taylor and Brian May of Queen perform in concert on December 18, 1977 at The Forum in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Jeffrey Mayer/Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED - JANUARY 01: Photo of Freddie MERCURY and Brian MAY and QUEEN and Roger TAYLOR and John DEACON; Posed group portrait - Brian May, Roger Taylor, Freddie Mercury and John Deacon (Photo by RB/Redferns)
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 01: Photo of QUEEN; Roger Taylor, Freddie Mercury (front), Brian May, John Deacon, posed group portrait (Photo by Richard E. Aaron/Redferns)
UNSPECIFIED - JANUARY 01: Photo of QUEEN; Posed group portrait L-R Roger Taylor, John Deacon, Freddie Mercury and Brian May (Photo by John Rodgers/Redferns)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 10: John Deacon, Brian May, Freddie Mercury and Roger Taylor of Queen perform on stage at Wembley Arena, on December 10th, 1980 in London, England. (Photo by Pete Still/Redferns)
Queen the rock band Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor, John Deacon seen here in New Orleans, USA, where they are rehearsing for their forthcoming tour of South America. 21st September 1981. (Photo by Gavin Kent/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)
(MANDATORY CREDIT Ebet Roberts/Getty Images) UNITED STATES - JULY 01: Photo of QUEEN; Back, Brian May and John Deacon, Front, Roger Taylor and Freddie Mercury, posed group portrait (Photo by Ebet Roberts/Redferns)
(MANDATORY CREDIT Koh Hasebe/Shinko Music/Getty Images) Queen, interview and photo session for 'Music Life' magazine, on the band's Hot Space Japan tour at a hotel in Fukuoka, Japan, 19 October 1982. L-R Roger Taylor, Brian May, Freddie Mercury, John Deacon. It was the band's fifth visit to Japan. (Photo by Koh Hasebe/Shinko Music/Getty Images)
Queen (v.i. Roger Taylor, Brian May, Freddie Mercury, John Deacon) on 13.08.1984 in München/Munich. (Photo by Fryderyk Gabowicz/picture alliance via Getty Images)
British rock group Queen performing on stage, 1986. Left to right: Freddie Mercury (1946 - 1991), John Deacon, Brian May and Roger Taylor. (Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images)
SWITZERLAND - MAY 01: MONTREUX ROCK FESTIVAL Photo of QUEEN, L-R Brian May, Roger Taylor, Freddie Mercury and John Deacon, group portrait (Photo by Suzie Gibbons/Redferns)
British rock band Queen on stage in Stockholm, Sweden, 7th August 1986. (Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images)
Queen Rock Group Freddie Mercury, Brian May, John Deacon & Roger Taylor. Queen in concert at St James Park in Newcastle. (Photo by Stone/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)
Portrait of BBC Radio 1 disc jockey Mike Read (centre) with the band 'Queen'; (L-R) John Deacon, Brian May, Freddie Mercury and Roger Taylor, March 1989. (Photo by Tim Roney/Radio Times/Getty Images)
Musicians Brian May, Roger Taylor, John Deacon and Freddie Mercury of Queen attend Queen Press Conference on July 27, 1982 at Crazy Eddie's in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)
INGLEWOOD, CA - MARCH 09, 1976: (L-R) Musicians Freddie Mercury and Brian May of Queen perform in concert on March 9, 1976 at The Santa Monica Civic Auditorium in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Jeffrey Mayer/Getty Images)
'You needed more pizzazz': Mel B insults Queen's Roger Taylor
Adam Lambert, right, and Brian May of Queen acknowledge the audience after a performance at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Queen band members Brian May, left, and Roger Taylor attend the premiere of "Bohemian Rhapsody" at The Paris Theatre on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Rami Malek poses with Queen band members Brian May (L) and Roger Taylor (R) at the Golden Globe Awards in January 2019, when Malek won for best actor in a drama film (AFP Photo/Mark RALSTON)
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"And ... why did those discs in my spine get so squished?," he contemplated in the caption of the video post. "Well I think 50 years of running around with a guitar strap over my left shoulder holding a heavy guitar might have something to do with it ! But it probably WAS all worth it !"

But when he recovered from that ailment, what May described as a "terrible pain that destroys your mind," another health problem arose.

"In the middle of the whole saga of the painful backside, I had a small heart attack," he recalled. "It was about 40 minutes of pain in the chest, and tightness and that feeling in the arms and sweating."

His doctor drove him to the hospital, where he had an angiogram and was diagnosed with three congested arteries. Instead of having open-heart surgery, he opted to have three stents put in.

"When I came around, it was like nothing had happened," May said. "It's an incredible operation done by the right skillful person, and I thank them from the bottom of my heart."

May said in the video that he considers himself a "healthy guy" and was shocked by his condition. He encouraged everyone over the age of 60 to have an angiogram whether or not they have heart problems.

"I'm very grateful that I now have a life to lead again," May said. "I was very near death because of this, but the pain I had was from something completely different. But I'm good and I'm here and I'm ready to rock. There's no need to panic. Just send me congratulations."

- This article first appeared on Variety

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