Martin Roberts terrifying brush with death: I watched docs plunge 8" needle into my chest

After being overwhelmed by the response to an alarming tweet about undergoing life-saving treatment, Martin Roberts has exclusively told OK! about his ordeal – revealing doctors' heroic efforts to save him amidst a terrifying health scare.

The Homes Under The Hammer star fought for his life this week and was saved when medics discovered he wasn't suffering a heart attack, but instead needed a procedure involving an 8 inch needle plunged into his chest while he was still awake. Sign up – for free – as an OK! VIP to read his interview about the ordeal.

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Martin Roberts was left fighting for his life on Wednesday 20 April when he was rushed to A&E for an emergency operation that saw doctors plunge an 8 inch syringe into his chest, repeatedly.

The 58 year old Homes Under the Hammer star shared an alarming tweet following the procedure, revealing he was merely hours away from dying when he turned up to the Royal United Hospital in Bath.

Now, just days after the terrifying experience, Martin has opened up to OK! about exactly what happened during that horrific time and what the next steps are as he remains in hospital. "It's the nearest thing to not being here that's ever happened to me," Martin shared in between coughs, speaking from hospital.

Starting from the beginning, Martin explained that he felt "under the weather" over the Easter weekend, with symptoms that resembled long Covid, which he also believed they shared similarities with that of a heart attack. Martin also thought his illness could be something to do with his asthma, but quickly ruled it out when his inhaler wasn't making him feel better and instead left him feeling extremely lethargic.

By Wednesday, he knew something was wrong and convinced his wife Kirsty to rush to the hospital, where he was seen in 45 seconds as doctors "poked and prodded" him to figure out what was causing his terror-inflicting symptoms.

Admitting how scared he was, the star said he was taken from ward to ward, getting ultrasounds and CT scans, all the while being pushed on a trolley by a man who was wearing a "Ghostbusters backpack, which contains sort of super emergencies."

"Something could have even happened on the way from the ward to the operating theatre and he was prepared for that, although I'm not sure what they would have been able to do," he told OK!.

Martin's blood pressure had dropped to half that of a healthy person."It was severe," he shared, coughing once more. "My liver and my kidneys were down to 30 per cent of their normal operational capacity."

After they gave him a local anaesthetic, a doctor inserted an 8 inch syringe into his chest and drained a litre and a half of fluid from the sack around his heart.

He continued: "I watched as they drew out syringe after syringe after syringe of this liquid. I was awake for this, but I was bit woozy. There was a tube that went in through my chest cavity, down into the sack around my heart."

They then pulled the fluid out and squirted it into "a plastic beaker". He continued: "In the end there was about a litre and a half of stuff they took out."

While everyone has a thin layer of fluid in the sack around the heart, extra fluid can put pressure on the heart and prevent it from pumping well. "In my case, it turns to something called a cardiac tamponade, which is where it fills rapidly and starts strangling the heart. And that's… that's the killer. It can result in death," he said.

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An ultrasound following the operation found that the fluid in the sack of the heart is "the effect, this is not a cause. So now I'm being transferred to the respiratory department where they're going to try and figure it out."

He went on: "They think I've got an underlying respiratory condition that has caused this problem and the spread to the heart. That sounds like an effect, it's not the cause. So now they're going put me on antibiotics to get rid of the underlying problem with my lungs. So I'm in hospital probably for another week or so."

Thankfully, his kidneys have nearly fully recovered, but his liver is still struggling and doctors are still uncertain about his lungs. "It remains to be seen whether I get full function back of my liver and kidneys. I don't know about the lungs," he said.

Doctors have since put him on intravenous antibiotics and are attempting to figure out why his lungs are still not functioning correctly. While his heart will have no long-term issues, he said there is still a lot of unknown when it comes to his lungs.

"Just trying and find out what's going on there. And hopefully, it gets to the underlying cause, but that's a bit of an unknown at the moment," he added.

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