After being hospitalized recently for the second time in a month, May says he is recovering from a heart attack, and feeling well thanks in part to the love and support of his fans.
"Battling things a bit today," he said in a video message. "But I'm overwhelmed. I'm really more than touched by the torrent of love and support that's come back at me after incredible coverage in the press. I really didn't expect all that."
In addition to his daily struggles with depression, May was hospitalized earlier this month after injuring himself while gardening. The rock icon said at the time that the pain in his posterior was so great he would likely not be able to walk unassisted for some time.
After returning home from the gardening episode, May said the pain in his back didn't subside. He returned to the doctor for a re-evaluation and MRI, which then revealed a compressed sciatic nerve — likely a result of 50 years of running around onstage shouldering a heavy guitar, he surmised.
May says it felt like "someone was putting a screwdriver in my back."
Then, if that ordeal wasn't enough, a few days later May began to feel a tightness in his chest and pain in his arms: a heart attack.
Though he described the cardiac episode as "small," he acknowledged that he was "very near death," due to a severe arterial blockage.
The songwriter, who recently went vegan for moral reasons, says he was fitted with three stents in the hospital and is beginning to feel like himself again.
"I will never ever be able to thank you all individually, so let me please at least thank you here. It's just unbelievable," he said. "This is going to sound very strange, but I sort of feel like I died and yet I was able to come to the funeral and see all the tributes."
He added that he's been diligent about his rehab and is "lucky" to have so much support.
May had surgery on his leg last December to relieve pressure on his Achilles tendon. He recovered in time to resume Queen + Adam Lambert's 'Rhapsody' tour in January.
The tour was abruptly halted in March, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Photo: Getty Images