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15 Apr 2024 14:55
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  •   Home > News > Entertainment

    Mark Feehily is leaving Westlife due to ill health

    The 43-year-old singer missed a number of dates on the group's 'Wild Dreams' tour in 2022 after contracting pneumonia and then undergoing surgery and, just days before the 'Flying Without Wings' hitmakers were due to embark on their first US concert series, he's announced he is stepping back from the group as he is still facing medical "challenges", which all relate to him contracting sepsis while recovering from surgery over three years ago

    In a lengthy post on the band's Instagram account, he wrote: "Hello and much love to you all! It's Mark here.. Most of you are aware that I have had some health challenges over the past while. It actually all started 3.5 years ago in August 2020 when I had surgery. Within a few days of this surgery I was in severe pain and was rushed into A+E

    "I eventually ended that awful day in ICU where I was informed that due to a complication with the surgery, I had developed severe "Sepsis", a life-threatening infection that would require immediate emergency surgery to rectify the problem and basically save my life.

    "I spent the next few months in hospital. It was during lockdown. For months, due to strict Covid restrictions, I was not allowed any visitors including my fiance and my then 10-month-old daughter. It was physically and mentally a very difficult time, not to mention traumatic having to spend so long in ICU."

    Mark was discharged from hospital in December that year, but has struggled to recover.

    He continued: In late 2021, I became very ill in Newcastle before a concert and ended up back in A+E, this time being told I had pneumonia. I was told I had to go straight home to recover and regrettably miss the rest of the concerts that December. I was referred to a consultant who told me I needed more surgery which I went ahead with in May 2022 meaning I was forced to miss more of The Wild Dreams tour.

    "Three months after that surgery, I tried my best to soldier on for you guys and to go back on tour but unfortunately the physical demands of the concerts and extensive travel were proving too much for me. I developed a very large 'incisional hernia' and I was told that I needed further surgery to fix it. This would be my fourth major surgery since the start of it all, but I had no option."

    The surgery went well but Mark feels he needs to take some time out to get back to full health.

    He added: "It is with the upmost level of regret that I must now temporarily stand down from all Westlife touring until a time that I have had the chance to fully recover from the turbulent journey I have been through as an individual.

    "Believe me, I wish things could be different! I would like to thank you so very much for your support and understanding of me and my health over the past few years."

    The singer ended his post with a message of support for his bandmates, Shane Filan, Kian Egan and Nicky Byrne.

    He wrote: "To Shane, Kian and Nicky, I love you three and I know you'll knock it out of the park. I'll be there with you in spirit for each and every show whilst you continue to fly the Westlife flag around the world.

    "But for now, I have to make the right decision for my health and wellbeing, for my family, and for myself as a person. Please don't worry. Sending the most positive vibes in your direction, I will see you very soon beautiful people! WESTLIFE FOREVER! Love, Mark Feehily xx."

    The 'Uptown Girl' hitmakers sent their own message to Mark.

    They said in a statement: "We would like to take this opportunity to send our brother, best friend and fellow bandmate, Mark, so many well wishes as he takes the necessary time he needs to recover.

    "Mark has been so strong in continuing to show up on stage despite going through such a turbulent time with his health and we completely respect that he must now focus on getting better so he can return to the stage when he is fit and well to do so! In the meantime, we will continue to fly the Westlife flag higher than ever for you guys."

    © 2024 Bang Showbiz, NZCity

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