As her teenage son cried out in agony from his hospital bed, Coronation Street actress Kym Marsh thought her boy David was dying – with doctors suspecting he was suffering from a heart attack. “I haven’t seen him cry since he was little,” Kym (38) recalls, opening up about the 2014 incident for the first time.
“He was so frightened and so was I, but I tried to be strong for him.” The 19-year-old was taken to hospital in June complaining of neck pain and fatigue, and was kept in overnight with suspected meningitis. Kym left the hospital in the early hours of the morning to see her youngest daughter Polly, but just two hours later, she was called back by a hysterical David. “All he could say was, ‘Mum, I can’t breathe.’ He was grey and clammy. I broke down and begged the nurses to tell me what was happening.”
David seemed to recover after being given ibuprofen, and was sent home by doctors. But just a few hours later, he was again struggling to breathe, and blood tests showed he could be having a heart attack. David was eventually diagnosed with myopericarditis, an inflammation of the heart and the sac surrounding the organ. “I asked the nurse how serious [the diagnosis] was. She said it could prove fatal.
"I was a wreck,” Kym tells. David has since been placed on regular medication for his condition. He’s only recently returned to work, knowing his heart could flare up at any time. Heart problems are known to the Marsh family, as Kym’s father Dave suffered from a heart attack when Kym was just 18.
Despite a quadruple bypass, he was rushed to hospital with a second suspected heart attack in 2012, and continues to battle heart disease. And Kym has experienced her own tragedy – in 2009, her baby son Archie died just minutes after being born prematurely. When talking about David’s scare, she said, “Having lost [Archie], I was terrified when I thought I’d lose David too.”
Kym also suffered from serious complications while pregnant with daughter Polly, born at only 33 weeks. The now four-year-old had corrective surgery last November for obstructive sleep apnoea, which caused her to stop breathing during the night. While the Hear’Say singer and her fiancé, personal trainer Dan Hooper (32), haven’t ruled out children, they would likely require a surrogate, due to Kym’s complex medical history. But Kym is philosophical. “We’re very fortunate with the children we’ve got,” she says.