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Elton to Docs: Don't Go Breaking My Heart

Sir Elton John released from hospital following pacemaker operation

July 12, 1999 12:00 AM ET

One week after John Popper popped for some angioplasty to treat an arterial blockage in his heart, Sir Elton John checked into a London hospital to be fitted for a pacemaker on Friday (July 9) in an hour-long operation. John, who has never suffered from heart trouble, felt ill en route to Posh Spice's wedding to soccer great David Beckham last week near Dublin. The day before the wedding, John felt faint and dizzy while playing tennis at his home in Nice and believed that he was suffering from heat exhaustion as he jetted to the wedding.

The singer returned to London and immediately sought medical help. "Thank God for the British medical system, because I went through every test known to man to find out exactly what was wrong," John told reporters who were waiting for his release from Wellington Hospital in north London. "Initially, I thought I had sunstroke." Doctors determined that he had an irregular heartbeat and fitted him with a pacemaker on Friday. He left the hospital less than twenty-four hours later on his own steam but revealed that his doctors insisted that he convalesce for two months.

"It came as a bit of a shock, but the operation was a simple procedure, the only thing I really regret is canceling my shows," he said. In addition to performing at Posh's wedding on July 4, John was due to perform at Leeds Castle in Kent, England, before 42,000 fans on July 10 and 11. The two concerts have been rescheduled for September.

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