The 59-year-old underwent a life-saving operation last year after thinking his chest pains were a result of long Covid.
However, he found out he was actually suffering from pericardial effusion, which is a build-up of fluid in the structure around the heart, and was immediately taken into surgery that saved his life.
Martin explained that the sack around his heart was putting pressure on the vital organ and if it hadn’t been caught he wouldn’t be here to tell the story today.
Speaking to The Sun, Martin said: “A year ago, I had a problem with my heart that hadn’t been noticed.
“The sack around my heart had expanded and was putting pressure on the heart. I had less than a few hours to live.
‘Had I not been in the right place… Three weeks earlier I was on the road in a transit van and if it had happened then, I would be dead.”
Martin previously discussed his ordeal on ITV’s This Morning, where he told hosts Phillip Schofield and Rochelle Humes that he had from chest pains for several weeks but thought they must be from long Covid.
He said: “I’d been feeling a bit poorly, under the weather for a couple of weeks. I’ve had a few chest infections over the last few years and I’ve had asthma since childhood, so I’m used to quite a tight chest.
“As it approached the Easter bank holiday weekend, it was starting to get really bad where I could hardly walk without struggling for breath.”
He added: “The confusing thing about this, it’s a bit of a red herring, is that it gets you in the breathing side of things, so you don’t think it’s something to do with your heart.
“You think, ‘It must be something to do with my chest.’ Then it’s the dangerous thing of playing Google doctor.
“‘It looked like it could have been the symptoms for long Covid – real lethargy, a tightness in the chest, pain in the chest, difficulty breathing, so you pause it and pause it and by the time it got to just after the bank holiday weekend, I was starting to be delirious, putting letters the wrong way round, I said to Kirsty, ‘We’ve got to go to hospital.'”
The condition can often be treated with medication but in severe cases doctors perform surgery to drain the excess fluid.
Martin said he required surgery because the fluid build-up had placed strain on his heart which was causing organ failure.
The TV presenter has said that the health scare has encouraged him to go on a health kick.
He signed up for E4 series The Big Celebrity Detox which sees mystic Sah D’Simone take eight celebrities through a series of therapies in order to make them feel spiritually cleansed.
Other celebs join Martin on the show including, Kerry Katona, Megan Barton Hanson, Toby Aromolaran, Ibiza Weekender’s David Potts, Too Hot To Handle contestant Chloe Veitch, kickboxer Michael ‘Venom’ Page and Princess Olga Romanoff.
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