Jamie Dornan’s limbs went numb and he was taken to hospital on holiday (Picture: Instagram)
The Tourist actor Jamie Dornan was hospitalised after he suffered heart attack symptoms likely to have been caused by ‘toxic’ caterpillars in Portugal.
Gordan said their symptoms were initially believed to be the result of an overabundance of espresso martinis and caffeine but a doctor later suggested they were caused by processionary caterpillars.
‘It turns out we’d brushed up against hairy processionary caterpillars and have been very lucky to come out of that one alive,’ the Scottish broadcaster told BBC podcast The Good, the Bad and the Unexpected.
Pine processionary moth caterpillars have thousands of tiny hairs that contain an irritating protein called thaumetopoein that can cause painful skin, eye and throat irritations and rashes and, in rare cases, allergic reactions, according to Forest Research.
Gordon had regaled the holiday horror after being asked to tell a wild story for the comedy podcast by presenter Mark Nolan.
Jamie had been on holiday with Gordon and other friends in Portugal (Picture: Instagram)
He began: ‘We had a great time the first day, played loads of golf, went out, lots of wine was drunk and then we got on to espresso martinis.
‘Anyway, the next day, we played golf, we were all absolutely dreadful and I started to feel tingling in my left hand and then tickling in my left arm. I’m the son of a GP and thought, “This is normally the sign of the start of a heart attack.”
‘Now, I’m a fairly healthy guy but once you start thinking, you’re having a heart attack, you’re pretty sure that you’re convincing yourself that you are having one.’
The paramedics asked Jamie for a selfie after treating him (Picture: Getty Images for Loewe)
Gordon explained he asked the hotel to arrange transport to a local medical centre but after a nurse measured his heart rate, which was 120 beats a minute, called an Uber to take him to hospital.
He continued: ‘I got in the Uber, collapsed, and woke up in a hospital bed attached to a machine with a doctor saying, “What have you been doing young man?”
‘At that point, he asked me a list of what we’d had to drink the day before as a Scottish man in Portugal, when you start saying, “Well, I think there were nine bottles of white wine, I had six espresso martinis” and I could see him shaking his head disgusted with the Scottish specimen in front of him.’
Jamie, who stars in The Tourist, recovered soon after falling ill (Picture: BBC/Two Brothers Pictures/Ian Routledge)
Gordon, who said he also contacted his GP father who suggested his illness was the result of caffeine poisoning and advised him to wait out his symptoms, was later discharged.
When he returned to their accommodation, Gordon was greeted by his friend Jamie who had various medical apparatus attached to his chest after also being sent to hospital.
‘Jamie said, “Dear me. Gordon, about 20 minutes after you left, my left arm went numb, my left leg went numb, my right leg went numb, and I found myself in the back of an ambulance.”
Gordon said he was convinced he was having a heart attack after falling ill (Picture: Instagram)
Gordon continued: ‘Anyway, as he left the hospital, the paramedics asked them for a selfie, which is really what you want when you’re being wheeled out of a hospital room.’
A week after their trip, Gordon said he was contacted by the Portuguese doctor who had treated them and informed them the illness may have been caused by ‘toxic’ caterpillars.
Gordon recalled: ‘[The doctor] said, “Look espresso martinis aside, at any stage did you come in contact with caterpillars on the golf course?” and he sent me a link to an article from the Portugal Times about processionary caterpillars.
Gordon said a doctor later suggested they fell ill because of the caterpillars (Picture: Instagram)
‘And it turns out that there are caterpillars on golf courses in the south of Portugal that have been killing people’s dogs and giving men in their 40s heart attacks.
‘It turns out we’d brushed up against hairy processionary caterpillars and have been very lucky to come out of that one alive.
‘So there’s my story; the good news is it wasn’t a caffeine overdose, it wasn’t a hangover – it was a poisonous, toxic caterpillar.’
Jamie’s holiday hell comes after he opened up about a ‘scary’ stalker experience he endured when he rocketed to fame.
The Fall actor, 41, revealed that pre-Covid a stalker turned up to his house when his children were there.
Jamie lives with his wife English musician, composer, and former actress Amelia Warner and shares three daughters with her: Dulcie, Elva, and Alberta.
‘I’ve been involved in situations where it’s impacted my family. I had a situation… a stalker-type situation before Covid,’ he began.
‘That was scary. Someone turned up at my house when my kids were there. It was not something…’
‘The more I can block that out, the better it is for me and the family,’ he told The Independent.
Metro.co.uk has contacted reps for Jamie and Gordon for comment.
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