Netflix’s Craig Russell reveals he ‘was warned he could die’ during brain tumour surgery

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‘I was warned I could die’: Queen Cleopatra star Craig Russell reveals he underwent ‘complicated’ surgery for a brain tumour after filming the Netflix show

Netflix star Craig Russell was warned he could have died ahead of major brain tumour surgery last year. 

The Welsh actor, who portrays Marc Antony in The Queen Cleopatra series, has now opened up about being diagnosed. 

During the production of the controversial new series, Craig said he was feeling fit and healthy. 

But at the end of last year, the star began to display out of character behaviour and began suffering with severe migraines, hearing loss and his vision got worse. 

He told The Mirror: ‘Just before Christmas, I walked into the spare room and I couldn’t ­remember how to get out. There was only one door, it wasn’t as if I had multiple exits to choose from.’

'It was so ­complicated': Netflix star Craig Russell was warned he could have died ahead of major brain tumour surgery last year

‘It was so ­complicated’: Netflix star Craig Russell was warned he could have died ahead of major brain tumour surgery last year

'It was totally unexpected': The Welsh actor, who portrays Marc Antony in the Queen Cleopatra series (pictured), has now opened up about being diagnosed

‘It was totally unexpected’: The Welsh actor, who portrays Marc Antony in the Queen Cleopatra series (pictured), has now opened up about being diagnosed

Craig went to see a doctor and had a CT scan which showed his tumour was the size of a lime and doctors believed it had been growing for 15 years. 

The actor was told he needed the tumour removing immediately and that he was going blind in his left eye.  

‘I got a call to say: “We need to get this out ASAP”. It was totally unexpected. I was very teary when I told my wife, Kate – and that they didn’t know if it was cancerous or not. But she was amazing, saying, “we will win this”.

‘I was warned I could die during the procedure because it was so ­complicated. But if it wasn’t removed, it could cause seizures and strokes’.

The actor considered the risks and decided he ‘had to do it’ for his wife and two children. 

In March, just two months before Queen Cleopatra dropped on Netflix, he underwent the risky surgery. 

Surgeons spent six hours removing the back of Craig’s skull which had been ‘touching the tumour’ before putting it back together with 55 staples. 

The procedure went well, however the Welsh star had to return to hospital after his wife noticed fluid coming from behind his staples. 

There was large swelling on Craig’s head and doctors said it caused fluid to build up inside so he had to move around as much as possible. 

The Netflix star started going on daily walks, lifting weights and eating anti-inflammatory foods to try and help. 

Craig said he was ‘over the moon’ when doctors told him the movement had worked and stopped the swelling.  

The actor now has to undergo an MRI scan every six months for the next decade but Craig gushed that he was ‘pleased I was feeling fine during the making of Queen Cleopatra’. 

He added that he was thankful his GP sent him for the brain scan to start with else he could ‘have had a seizure while driving his children to school’. 

Two months after the big surgery, Craig said he is feeling much more like himself again.  

'I was warned I could die': During the production of the new show, Craig said he was feeling fit and healthy, but at the end of last year the star began to display out of character behaviour

‘I was warned I could die’: During the production of the new show, Craig said he was feeling fit and healthy, but at the end of last year the star began to display out of character behaviour 



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