Miriam Margolyes, who’s known for playing Professor Sprout in the Harry Potter films, recently updated fans on her health and recent medical journey.
On Wednesday, the 82-year-old actress disclosed that she underwent a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedure, a less invasive alternative to open-heart surgery. Speaking on the Table Manners podcast with Jessie and Lennie Ware, she humorously mentioned, “I now have a cow’s heart.”
Margolyes clarified, adding, “Well, not the whole heart, but I’ve had an aortic valve replaced with a cow’s aortic valve.”
When singer Jessie Ware, 39, inquired about the popularity of the procedure, Margolyes humorously quipped, “I find it rather refined, actually!” She went on to say, “I’m not sure how common it is. I had never even heard of that operation before.”
Margolyes went on to describe the intricate medical procedure. “They made two small incisions in both groins, and then they inserted this device,” she said. “I’m not entirely sure how they maneuvered it, but it involves some kind of stereo-guidance.”
The Call The Midwife star further elaborated, stating, “Then, as it reaches the crucial point within your heart, they gently pull on a small string, and it goes ‘pow!’ — and just like that, your artery or aortic valve is shifted aside, albeit quite abruptly.”
Following her revelation, a multitude of Margolyes fans took to social media to express their well wishes, hoping for the actress’ swift recovery. The British actress previously disclosed her struggle with multiple health conditions, including spinal stenosis and osteoporosis. In May, she was admitted to The Royal Brompton Hospital in Chelsea, London, due to a chest infection. She kept her fans informed about her condition by sharing a photograph taken from her hospital bed.
Then in June, while appearing nude in British Vogue for Pride month, Margolyes talked bluntly about how her diet has impacted her health, and said it’s contributing to her deteriorating spinal condition.
“I’ve limited my life because of my longing for fudge or chopped liver, cheesecake,”she said. “All these absurdities. I shouldn’t have been so greedy. I should have been stronger.”
According to Mayo Clinic, spinal stenosis occurs “when the space inside the backbone is too small. This can put pressure on the spinal cord and nerves that travel through the spine. Margolyes acknowledged that with the deterioration of her conditions, she will come to terms with the prospect of reduced mobility and will eventually have to rely on a wheelchair.