Former Dancing With the Stars professional dancer Tristan MacManus recently went public with the revelation that he has had two heart attacks in the last 12 years, one when he was just 26 years old. He also got very emotional talking about how when he had the first one, he didn’t even care that much because he was in a really dark place. But now he had a family and everything was different when he had the second heart attack.
The First Happened in Las Vegas When MacManus Was in a Dark Place
Speaking with Studio 10 in Australia, MacManus revealed that he first had a heart attack over a decade ago, when he was 26 and dancing in Las Vegas.
“It came at a time in me life when I was very down. I was kind of down and I didn’t know what it was [that made me feel down]. People were looking at me and going, ‘you have a great life,’ and I did, but at the same time, I just hated meself. I hated everything,” the 38-year-old dancer revealed.
“So when the first one happened, I didn’t really care what was going to happen,” MacManus said, adding, “I didn’t take drugs, it was nothing like that. Granted, I had a drinking problem and I knew that … I wasn’t looking after myself because I didn’t have anything to look after, in my eyes.”
He recovered from that one and since then, he has married actress/producer Tahyna Tozzi and they had two children, Echo, 4, and Oisin, 1. They are also expecting their third child in 2021, Tozzi announced on Instagram back in November.
The Second Heart Attack Led to a Diagnosis of Myopericarditis
MacManus went on to reveal that his second heart attack happened a few weeks after his 36th birthday, which would have been summer 2018, and it led to a diagnosis of myopericarditis. Myopericarditis is an inflammation of both the pericardium and the heart muscle and can lead to fluid in the heart. What made that particularly scary is that his grandfather suffered from the same condition and he died at the age of 36.
MacManus recalled playing in a soccer game with his friends and feeling a tightness or a “twist” in his chest. All he could think about was not scaring his wife and daughter, who were there to watch the game.
“I remember feeling a twist, just a twist in my chest and I thought oh, that’s bizarre … I didn’t know [I was having a heart attack] at the time. I started getting tingles down my arms … then I start feeling the twist and the pump, I started feeling it in my head … then I started getting hot … my head got real light,” said MacManus, adding, “I remember seeing [Tahyna and Echo] and going ‘they’re going to be scared if they know something’s going on here.’ … In my head, the only thing that mattered was that [they weren’t scared].”
MacManus said eventually he was diagnosed with having had a second heart attack and then the myopericarditis diagnosis came. What it taught him was to listen to his body more.
“The difference is now I know when to not push myself,” said MacManus. “I’m listening to my body more because I have a lot more at stake now. It’s not just about me now. It’s all about my family and that dark period … for a long time of my early life, I’ve been very privileged with the stuff I’ve gotten to do, but if you hate yourself, what’s the point? It’s not like I didn’t have people around me, I just didn’t like myself.”
He added, “It’s something that I feel as though I’ve come to terms with now and I just feel as though I need to get it off my chest a little bit, especially at a time when health is so important for everyone … make your health a priority.”
He emphasized that you need to make both your physical health and your mental health a priority.
“There will always be that fear. I couldn’t think of anything else that would be more scary than not seeing my kids grow up,” said the dancer. “Three strikes and you’re out.”
Dancing With the Stars will hopefully return with season 30 in 2021. ABC has not yet officially announced a renewal and premiere date.