While many people are struggling to find any positive in the current health climate, game show host George Gray and his wife, Brittney, have a bit of a different perspective.
Just 53 and in otherwise good health, George Gray has been an announcer for “The Price Is Right” since 2011 and also hosted “The Weakest Link.” Staying in Tucson, Arizona, and hunkering down to shelter in place, things seemed to be going pretty well for the couple — other than the disappointment of a canceled vacation.
The Grays were supposed to be in Thailand, but the coronavirus pandemic changed their plans and they stayed home. That proved to be a life-saving decision: George started experiencing heart attacks on Wednesday.
“He has low cholesterol,” Brittney told USA Today. “He ran a mile the day before. No blood pressure problems, nothing. The doctor said this is most likely genetic. There are no signs beforehand — until the heart attack.”
“We were supposed to be in Thailand for our one-year wedding anniversary during this time. If COVID-19 didn’t happen, we would have been on a plane back and he most likely would be dead. We jokingly — but not seriously — say that COVID-19 saved his life.”
Gray first started experiencing indigestion-like pain, which was followed by chest pain and arm weakness. He knew the signs, and he was pretty sure what was happening.
“If this isn’t a heart attack, I don’t know what it is,” he told his wife.
When first responders arrived and started checking him over, they quickly confirmed that not only was Gray having a heart attack, it was a serious one.
“Are you allowed to tell me I’m having a heart attack?” the host asked.
“Yeah,” they said. “It’s a big one.”
Over the next couple of days, Gray had a total of three heart attacks, and two of them were the sort labeled “widowmakers” — serious episodes that could have claimed his life.
The first heart attack occurred as he was being taken to the hospital. Medical personnel placed a stent, but it failed, and he experienced a second heart attack.
“He basically had a second heart attack right there,” Brittney explained. “The doctors were luckily able to rush back in and stent the stent.”
They needed to do a bypass surgery, which they scheduled for Friday, and as he was being taken to the operating room, he had a third heart attack.
“He recovered and he was getting stronger, but as he was being wheeled into the operating room, he started having a heart attack right on the operating table,” Brittney said.
After quadruple bypass surgery, Gray seems to be doing better and is speaking again, his representative, Phil Viardo, told “Entertainment Tonight.”
Viardo also acknowledged that if Gray hadn’t been on home turf, he might not have made it, saying he was “lucky that he was already on the operating table when the big heart attack happened.”
Thankfully, all seems as well as it can be, and Gray plans to truck on as usual.
“George would love to thank all his friends and fans for the outpouring of love and support,” Viardo said. “He is looking forward to returning to the set of Price as soon as they come back from the pandemic hiatus.”
“For now he will remain in Arizona until he is healthy enough to return to his LA home where he will continue recovery and any necessary treatment.”
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