Miriam Margolyes, 82, undergoes major heart surgery as she shares health update

Miriam Margolyes, 82, undergoes major heart surgery as she shares health update

Miriam Margolyes has revealed she now has a “cow’s heart” after undergoing an operation to fix a worrying health problem.

The 82 year old Harry Potter actress told how she'd had a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) – a procedure that avoids the need for open heart surgery. The operation meant that her aortic valve was replaced by that of a cow.

Miriam, who is known for playing Professor Sprout in the Harry Potter franchise, as well as for her chaotic appearances on This Morning, discussed the procedure on the Table Manners podcast with Jessie and Lennie Ware.

Speaking on the podcast, she said: “I've got a cow's heart now. Well, not the whole heart. I've had an aortic valve replaced by a cow's aortic valve.”

Jessie then asked if the operation was "common".

Miriam replied: “I think it's rather refined, actually! I don't know how common it is. I'd never heard of that operation. But it saves you from having open heart surgery, which would be infinitely more invasive.”

Miriam – who was also hospitalised with a chest infection in May this year – went on to describe how the doctors guided a tube with the replacement valve through the femoral artery in her groin to her heart. She added: “And then when it comes to the point, when it's in your heart, they pull a little string and it goes pow! And lo and behold, your artery or your aortic valve is shoved unceremoniously to the side.”

Earlier this year, Miriam made her British Vogue cover debut aged 82. During the interview, she revealed she was facing the surgery after being taken to hospital in an emergency the month before. She described the health scare as "unexpected" and added it had made her confront death as a result.

She said: “When you're young, you never think about death. You just think about your next f**k basically. I think about death a lot. Now every morning when I get up I think, 'Hmmm, another day,' which maybe I wasn't expecting.”

Elsewhere in the interview she also said she "never had any shame about being gay". The actress said gay people are "not conventional" and that she "wouldn’t want to be straight".

She featured in the July edition of British Vogue along with other LGBTQ+ pioneers, including Ncuti Gatwa and Emma D’Arcy. Miriam came out as a lesbian in 1966, a time when homosexuality was illegal, and lived through the HIV crisis of the 1980s – during which she lost 34 friends. She has been with her partner – academic Heather Sutherland – for 54 years.

Meanwhile, last month Miriam announced she had landed a role on iconic BBC show Doctor Who. She is set to star alongside David Tennant in new episodes of the much-loved sci-fi show for the 60th anniversary specials that will air next month. The BBC said Miriam was set to be the voice behind the Meep, an "iconic creature" adapted from The Star Beast comic strip.

That came days after Miriam had caused chaos on This Morning with a sweary guest appearance as an agony aunt.

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