Dame Barbara Windsor had to undergo a heart operation after side-effects of her Alzheimer’s medication left her dizzy and short of breath.
The EastEnders legend, 81, spent eight days in the hospital after collapsing at home, but husband Scott Mitchell, who has been married to Babs for 18 years, said she’s now on the road to recovery. “Barbara was suffering from a low heart rate which doctors thought was being caused by some of her medication,” he said. “She was getting very dizzy and short of breath and fainted one day at home, so she had an eight-day hospital spell about four weeks ago and they’ve put in a pacemaker for her.” The EastEnders icon with Ross Kemp and Steve McFadden.
He added: “She’s looking forward to getting out on the town again soon.” While her heart specialist Dr Rodney Foale added to The Sun: “Barbara is doing very well.” Aware of the operation, Christopher Biggins said he’ll be seeing his close friend next week, sharing: “We’re going to go out. She likes to go out because she spends a lot of time indoors.”
Scott first revealed his wife, who played Peggy Mitchell in EastEnders, was suffering from Alzheimer’s in May, though she was diagnosed with the disease in 2014. She kept it secret from all but her closest friends, but as her memory worsened and rumours began to circulate, devoted Scott decided to speak out. David visited Babs for a spot of afternoon tea
He said at the time: “Since her 80th birthday last August a definite continual confusion has set in, so it’s becoming a lot more difficult to hide.” He revealed vulnerable Babs “feels a kind of shame” about her condition and keeps asking him: “Do the public know that I’m not well?” But he added: “I’m doing this because I want us to be able to go out and, if something isn’t quite right, it will be OK because they will now know she has got Alzheimer’s and will accept it for what it is.”
Barbara’s memory problems had been spotted by fans and insiders. At an awards lunch in December she presented fellow actress June Whitfield with a Lifetime Achievement gong and appeared to be confused about when they starred together on EastEnders. At the same event reporters asked her how she celebrated her 80th birthday four months earlier. She replied: “I can’t remember” before asking Scott who went to her party. When quizzed about a possible role in Corrie, she admitted: “I don’t think I could learn those lines.”
Fifty years ago #OTD the #dadsarmy episode billed in @radiotimes to be shown was Shooting Pains. In the event it wasn’t screened until a week later, on the 11th. Barbara Windsor guest-starred as variety-act sharpshooter Laura la Plaz. pic.twitter.com/wLWQRNuWUy
— Mark Braxton (@BraxM) September 4, 2018