The 72-year-old guitarist detailed his medical nightmare in a seven-and-a-half minute video on social media, joking about the terrible irony of the title of one of Queen’s hit albums.
“Sheer Heart Attack eh?” he wrote of the 1974 breakthrough record. “Well, I think I always worried a little bit about that album title.”
May said his woes started with a “bizarre gardening accident” that left him with a ripped muscle in his buttocks, with his biggest problem at first just being teased about being a “pain in the bum.”
But he soon sought further testing after being left in “real agony,” saying, “I wanted to jump at some points. I could not believe the pain.”
“In the middle of the whole saga of the painful backside – I had a small heart attack,” he revealed, adding that he experienced “40 minutes of pain in the chest and tightness.”
“I turned out to have three arteries that were congested and in danger of blocking the supply of blood to my heart,” May said after getting an angiogram.
He said he was pressured into getting open-heart surgery but instead opted to have three stents put in.
“When I came round it was as if nothing had happened. I couldn’t feel that they’d been in here — I couldn’t feel anything. And I still can’t.
“I walked out with a heart that is very strong now. So I think I’m in good shape for some time to come,” he said.
He advised all his followers in their “autumn years” to get angiograms because “what seems to be a very healthy heart may not be.”
“I was actually very near death because of this, but the pain that I had was from something very different. It’s funny how things work,” May said. “But I’m good. I’m here. And I’m ready to rock.”