Mrs Brown’s Boys star Brendan O’Carroll has revealed that his life was saved thanks to a twist of karma during a TV interview.
The Dublin comic was speaking as a guest on the Late Late Show in 2018.
One of the thousands of viewers included FAI Medical Director Dr Alan Byrne, who was watching at the hotel along with the national soccer team.
He noticed that O’Carroll was particularly breathless when speaking. O’Carroll recalled: “I remember feeling breathless for some reason. I’d sneaked out for a smoke before the interview and they’d said, ‘Come back quick, you’re on’.
“I felt breathless at the time but this was really bad and Dr Alan Byrne who was watching it on TV really noticed.”
Days later O’Carroll was in Dublin’s Beacon Hospital for investigative surgery into the blocked arteries within his legs.
As luck would have it, Dr Byrne was present and told surgeons to “forget about the legs and look at his heart instead”.
Thankfully the surgeons followed that advice and it most likely saved O’Carroll from a potentially fatal heart attack.
He said: “I was 99 per cent blocked in one part. I would have had a heart attack only they put a stent in immediately.”
O’Carroll’s wife Jenny Gibney, who also stars in Mrs Brown’s Boys, added: “They said they were going to take Brendan down for an angiogram and, if they found something, treat it while they were there.
“It was only supposed to be 45 minutes going in but it was an a hour and a half later the surgeon walked in, like one of those moments out of an ER drama.”
Brendan interrupts (impersonating doctors): “We did all we could.”
He added: “They told Jenny they had found a blockage but it’s all clear now, we’ve put a stent in.”
It was thanks to a series of chance encounters that Dr Bryne spotted O’Carroll struggling for breath when in conversation on the TV.
O’Carroll had previously met Dr Byrne as part of a FAI Heart Care Programme to protect young soccer players from sudden cardiac arrest through regular screening.
O’Carroll had agreed to sponsor the programme with a massive €430,000 over the course of six years.
He said: “I got asked in a press conference if I was out of my mind spending that much money. I said it’d be worth it if it saved even one life. Well, it was f ing mine!”