For the first time since GENERAL HOSPITAL star Chad Duell (Michael) was twice recast over the summer, the actor opened up about what was going on behind the scenes that led to GH tapping THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS alum Robert Adamson (ex-Noah) to temporarily fill in as Sonny and Carly’s son. “I thought I was dying,” Duell confessed to co-star Maurice Benard (Sonny) on the latest episode of State of Mind about the medical scare that landed him in the hospital, scared for his life.
When Adamson first filled appeared on GH in early June — during the height of Nina’s trial — Duell shared on Twitter that he was out for something “COVID-related.” At the time, he didn’t specify whether he had tested positive himself or had been exposed, but as Duell shared his tale with Benard, he implied that he had, in fact, been ill with the coronavirus back in the spring. And when Adamson had to pinch hit again several weeks later, Duell thought he had contracted COVID yet again. “I had the symptoms of it. The fever, the cough, the headache… a weird headache. I never had one like that before. I’ve had COVID a number of times before. But anyway, I thought it was that.”
However, Duell was perplexed since he was testing negative. But when a new symptom presented on the fourth day, the actor was concerned. “All of a sudden, my chest started hurting unbelievably bad. I felt like I was having a heart attack,” he confessed. “I was like, “If I have COVID, it probably went to my chest so I should go to the hospital, maybe check it out.” It was so painful.”
Because the pain went away, Duell was sent home. But when his chest began hurting again the next morning, he was admitted to the hospital. As a battery of tests were conducted, bloodwork revealed high troponin levels. “When they’re elevated, they indicate a heart attack,” Duell explained. “Why would I have a heart attack, It didn’t make sense. My heart was perfectly healthy; they looked at it.”
Doctors next performed an angiogram, which concluded that Duell had acute myocarditis, an inflammation of the middle layer of the heart wall that is typically brought on by a viral infection. “It’s a long-term COVID effect,” Duell noted, adding that the inflammation can develop around the heart or the brain up to three months after a person’s had the virus. “I think I had it in my brain, actually. I think that’s why my head was feeling so weird, and then it went to my heart.”
After a few days in the hospital, Duell was released with a regimen of medication to treat his heart issue. “It goes away on its own. I just had to take care of it, take the right medication and I’m okay now,” he explained. “I can’t tell you the pain that I felt. They had morphine and it wasn’t doing anything. I was scared.”
Thankfully, he was recently given the all-clear by his cardiologist, but the last few months have been stressful and scary for the actor! “When you’re in the hospital and you don’t know what’s going on with you, you’ve got to put your mind in this place of just existing in the moment. Because you don’t want to think the worst case,” he mused. “You’ve got to live in this weird place of just not trying to think. You just exist. Because if you think too much, you’re gonna make yourself panic, and make things worse. And It’s almost impossible to think too little of it all because it’s like, ‘What the hell’s wrong with me?’
“I’m much better now,” Duell concluded. “I went to my cardiologist a couple days back and he said everything’s good, you can stop taking the medication. But I’m still going to be cautious for the next couple of months and then get back on normal living.”
We are so glad to hear that!
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