George Michael: Star’s heart was inflamed and weakened when he died – condition explained

George Michael: Sony releases trailer for Freedom Uncut

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The announcement of the Netflix documentary comes ahead of the release of George Michael: Freedom Uncut – a documentary of the Wham! singer’s career – which will hit cinemas on the 22nd of June. Michael had been working on the documentary before he was found dead while “lying peacefully” asleep. A delayed coroner’s hearing revealed the details about the condition that killed him.

Michael’s body was found by his lover Fadi Fawaz, who attempted to wake him up for an hour.

A leaked 999 call reported by The Sun revealed the devastating moment. “I’ve been trying to wake him up for the last hour but it was not possible,” Fawaz said. “He’s gone. He’s blue. He’s gone.”

Fawaz later told the Telegraph that he was “lying peacefully in bed”.

The conclusion immediately after Michael’s death was that it was not suspicious following an initial inconclusive post-mortem.

But nobody knew what caused his death until March 7, 2017, when the coroner’s hearing revealed that George Michael had died from dilated cardiomyopathy with myocarditis and fatty liver.

This means that Michael died with an inflamed and weakened heart. Inflammation of the muscle would have reduced his ability to pump blood.

However, as is custom, the coroner didn’t say anything about the star’s risk factors.

Myocarditis can be caused by several factors, including viruses, bacteria, parasites, illegal drugs, chemicals, or other inflammatory diseases.

Antibiotics like penicillin and sulfonamide drugs, as well as antiseizure drugs, and cocaine, can induce myocarditis, explains Mayo Clinic.

And as for his fatty liver, this is a condition that can be caused by viral infection as well as heavy alcohol use.

Although Michael’s substance abuse was well known – he was arrested in 2008 for using crack cocaine – those around him believed his body deteriorated naturally.

The star’s former partner Kenny Goss told The Sunday Mirror: “I think his body just gave up. All these years, it was just weak.

“We just want closure, we want the funeral to happen, it’s been a long time now.”

The star was buried after his death at Highgate Cemetery in north London next to his mother’s grave.

How to avoid myocarditis

Since myocarditis can be caused by infections, it is recommended by Mayo Clinic to avoid contact with people who are sick.

“Stay away from people with symptoms of the flu or other respiratory illness until they’ve recovered,” it explains.

Mayo Clinic also recommends washing your hands regularly, and avoid risky behaviours like illegal drugs, and unsafe sex.

It also suggests getting recommended vaccines, such as COVID-19, influenza and rubella jabs.

Symptoms of myocarditis

According to the NHS, the symptoms of myocarditis may be the following:

  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue
  • Swelling of the legs, ankles and feet
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat (arrhythmias)
  • Shortness of breath, at rest or during activity
  • Light-headedness or feeling like you might faint
  • Flu-like symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pain, fever or sore throat.

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