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Home / News / Feehily to take break from Westlife over heath issues

Feehily to take break from Westlife over heath issues

Mark Feehily of Westlife has announced that he is stepping back from the band and will not be joining them on their debut US tour due to ongoing health issues.

The singer (43) recently underwent surgery to treat a hernia and was also treated for sepsis during lockdown in August 2020.

In a statement on X, formerly Twitter, on Wednesday, the Sligo native said, “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 (Intensive Care Unit) 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.”

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Feehily, who become engaged to Cailean O’Neill in 2019 and announced the birth of their daughter Layla via surrogacy later that year, added that he was not permitted to see his fiancé or his daughter during his time in hospital.

“It was during lockdown. For months, due to strict Covid restrictions, / was not allowed any visitors including my fiancé and my then 10-month-old daughter,” he wrote.

“It was physically and mentally a very difficult time, not to mention traumatic having to spend so long in ICU. I was eventually discharged from hospital in December 2020 but I have had ongoing medical problems as a result of it all. 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.”

Westlife

His post went on, “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 was a success but Feehily was advised to take time to recover and not go back on tour with Westlife.

“That surgery took place recently and thankfully it went according to plan but with that, my recovery must now become my absolute priority at this time,” he said.

Westlife are currently preparing for their US tour and they will play Canada, the USA, Mexico and Brazil.

“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.

“To my parents, brothers, close family and friends, thank you for the relentless support as always. Thank you to my beautiful daughter for giving me constant daily motivation and inspiration to keep fighting through all of this and to get better asap and to my partner Cailean for being there through the most challenging of times.”

Feehily also paid tribute to his Westlife bandmates and the medical staff who have been looking after him.

“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.

“To all the medical staff who held my hand and kept my spirit lifted (you know who you are!), my heartfelt thanks goes out to each and every one of you.”

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