George Michael Released From Hospital: "I'm Lucky to Be Alive"
George Michael was released from an Austrian hospital Thursday after battling pneumonia for more than a month.
"I'm very weak but I feel amazing," the 48-year-old "Faith" singer told reporters on Friday outside his home, according to The Daily Mirror. "I'm lucky to be alive."
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Talking to reporters, Michael called his medical ordeal "by far the worst month of my life" and held back tears when he thanked doctors for keeping him alive. "I'd say it was touch and go for a couple of weeks," he said. "We played it down because I didn't want to worry my fans too much - I'm sorry I couldn't contact them before now but I wasn't in any state to do so."
Michael first experienced health problems in late October when he had to cancel a London date of his Symphonica tour due to a viral infection. On Nov. 21, he was admitted to a Vienna hospital after complaining of chest pains. It was later confirmed that Michael had pneumonia and was in an intensive care unit until Dec. 1. On Friday, Michael revealed he had had a tracheotomy (an incision in his neck to open his airways) during his hospitalization.
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"The fact I've been so lucky and the fact that I still have plenty to live for - I have this amazing, amazing life and if I wasn't spiritual enough before the last four or five weeks then I certainly am now," he said. "I have to believe that somebody believes I've still got some work to do here."
Michael said he plans to perform a concert for the doctors in Austria who saved his life, and also plans to resume his Symphonica tour, which was officially canceled once Michael was hospitalized. "I really from the bottom of my heart thank everyone for sending messages, and everyone in that ICU unit who saved my life," he said. "I'm a new man."