Chris Fountain reveals he suffered terrifying mini-stroke

Chris Fountain reveals he suffered terrifying mini-stroke

10/09/2022

‘I feared what it meant for the rest of my life’: Former Coronation Street star Chris Fountain reveals he was left speaking ‘like a toddler’ after suffering terrifying mini-stroke caused by blood clot in his brain

  • The actor was admitted to Hackney’s Homerton University Hospital following the incident in August, after which he was left speaking ‘like a toddler’
  • Fountain says he realised something was seriously wrong after waking to discover he could no longer articulate his speech
  • He later discovered he’d suffered a Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA), commonly referred to as a mini-stroke, caused by a blood clot in his brain 
  • The actor is now working with a speech therapist and says his ability to speak has almost completely returned, but still struggles when required to read aloud 
  • If you have questions about TIA or want to speak to someone, call the TIA Helpline on 0303 3033 100
  • If you have been affected by this story, call Samaritans at any time for free on 116 123 

Former Coronation Street star Chris Fountain says he lost the ability to speak and ‘feared for his life’ after suffering a mini-stroke two months ago. 

The actor was admitted to Hackney’s Homerton University Hospital following the incident in August, after which he was left speaking ‘like a toddler.’ 

Fountain, 35, says he realised something was seriously wrong after waking to discover he could no longer articulate his speech, prompting the terrified star to dial 111 from his London home and request an ambulance. 

Terrifying: Former Coronation Street star Chris Fountain says he lost the ability to speak and ‘feared for his life’ after suffering a mini-stroke two months ago 

The actor – best known for his former role as Tommy Duckworth in Corrie – later discovered he’d suffered a Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA), commonly referred to as a mini-stroke, as a consequence of blood clotting in his brain. 

He told The Mirror: ‘When the doctors confirmed I’d had a TIA and said the word stroke, I just couldn’t believe it, there was a moment of sheer panic just fearing what it meant for the rest of my life.

‘Would I have another one? Would the next one be even worse and I’d lose the use of my arms or legs? I was really scared and just broke down in tears.’ 

WHAT ARE WARNING SIGNS OF A MINI STROKE? 

A transient ischemic attack (or, TIA) involves a temporary lack of blood flow to the brain, which causes momentary dizziness, confusion, tingling, and numbness in the arms.

You should call 911 if you suspect you are suffering a TIA.

Symptoms include: 

  • vision changes
  • dysphasia (trouble speaking)
  • confusion
  • balance issues
  • tingling
  • an altered level of consciousness
  • dizziness
  • passing out
  • an abnormal sense of taste
  • an abnormal sense of smell
  • weakness or numbness on just one side of the body or face, determined by the location of the blood clot in the brain

Fountain was eventually transferred to the The Royal London Hospital, where he underwent further tests over a five day period before being released into the care of his worried family. 

He added: ‘The doctors said they saw some damage to the left hand side of my brain which is where your cognitive abilities are controlled from.

‘What’s scary is if I hadn’t have called 111 when I did and got to hospital so quickly I don’t know if that clot could have travelled to the wrong place in my brain, I could have died. That clot was like a ticking bomb in my head.’

Old times: The actor played Tommy Duckworth in Coronation Street, but was sacked by the soap in 2013 after videos of him rapping about rape emerged online  

Doctors have since discovered the clot was triggered by a small, previously undetected hole in his heart allowing blood to flow into his brain – meaning he will need an operation to close it. 

The actor is now working with a speech therapist and says his ability to speak has almost completely returned, but still struggles when required to read aloud. 

But he insists he will use the experience positively and is now intent on ‘living life to the max’. 

He said: ‘Going through something like this makes you realise just how fragile life is, it can really be snatched away from you at any moment.’ 

Interview: In May, Fountain spoke about the depression he suffered after being axed from Coronation Street while appearing on the Mancs On The Mic podcast with Ryan Thomas

In May, Fountain spoke about the depression he suffered after being axed from Coronation Street when a video of him using misogynistic slurs while rapping about women was posted online.

The actor was filmed rapping about rape in the clip, which he said left him with ‘bleak’ career prospects to this day.

Fountain discussed his difficulties with fellow Coronation Street actor Ryan Thomas and his brothers Adam and Scott on their Mancs On The Mic podcast.

He said: ‘I’ve been in some very dark, horrible places, to the point where I realised I needed to start changing the way that I was thinking – otherwise I might not have been here.

‘My life, my job, my image, my reputation – everything was just ripped away. Within 24 hours. I didn’t leave my house for four days.’ 

Difficulties: After leaving Coronation Street, Chris appeared on the show Girlfriends and has also acted in regional plays, but says his work prospects are still impacted by the video 

He added: ‘I’d never been this discombobulated before. I was meant to go on This Morning and then that got cancelled because they didn’t want me on there. After a while, I was like, “I think I’m going through depression here.”‘

After leaving Coronation Street, Chris appeared on the show Girlfriends in 2018 and has also acted in regional plays, but says his work prospects are still impacted by the video.

He said: ‘As much as I like to say everything’s alright and everything’s cool, work-wise at the moment, it’s bleak.

‘Am I not getting jobs because of that [the scandal], or am I not getting jobs because I’m not as good an actor as I once thought I was? I don’t know if I’ll ever find that answer.’

If you have questions about TIA or want to speak to someone, call the TIA Helpline on 0303 3033 100.  If you have been affected by this story, call Samaritans at any time for free on 116 123. 

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