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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Seamus Duff

Big Brother's Brian Dowling thought he was going to die on terrifying plane ride

Brian Dowling has opened up about a terrifying mid-flight health emergency that left him fearing he was going to die - and his husband would be left to raise their son without him.

The 45-year-old Big Brother legend had been in New York with his sister, Aoife, where he enjoyed a fun trip exploring the bars and restaurants of the Big Apple.

But he began feeling ill as his trip came to an end - with his condition deteriorating when he boarded his flight home from JFK to Dublin airport.

Brian, who has been married to 43-year-old professional dancer Arthur Gourounlian since 2015 and they had a son named Blake together, revealed all about his ordeal via social media.

Brian Dowling feared he was dying while on a transatlantic flight (Instagram/ @bprdowling)

Taking to Instagram Stories on Wednesday, Brian explained that he was left fearing for his life when he experienced searing pain in his back and stomach while flying home. He said: “I’m going to try not to be dramatic here... on Friday night early Saturday morning I woke up with incredible pain, stabbing pain in my side and I dialled 91 and I was like 'no don't dial 911 because you're in America and this will cost you a fortune’.

“I got myself into a meditative state, and it was gone.” He continued: “Then I got to the airport and it started again and it was worse, I was crying on the plane, and my sister Aoife was delirious [with worry]. I wouldn't let her say it to the crew because I was just paranoid.

“[It was] just 30 minutes of excruciating pain then for an hour it would stop. 30 minutes of excruciating pain, an hour it would stop, the flight was six hours home from JFK to Dublin.” He went on: “Also at the right hand side of my stomach you couldn’t even touch it because it was so painful.

He called his husband, Arthur Gourounlian, to say goodbye as he feared he would be dead before landing (Instagram/ @bprdowling)

“So at this point, I literally felt like, no word of a lie, that I was going to die, the pain was that bad.” Brian explained: “I had contacted Arthur on the plane and said 'I'm not sure I'm going to get off this plane alive,' it was the worst pain of my life. I told him loved him, I told him to look after Blake.”

Once he got back on Irish soil, Brian rushed himself to his doctor where he was finally diagnosed. He recounted: “We landed back, I came home, went to bed and then went to the doctor. The doctor examined me and I explained my symptoms [and he diagnosed]… a kidney stone.”

Brian said he had never heard of or experienced a kidney stone before, but consulted some of his other friends about the condition. One friend who had also experienced a kidney stone explained that it feels “worse than childbirth” - while the reality star himself explained he had thought his appendix had burst. Brian then passed the kidney stone and is now taking medication and is recovering - but warned social media fans to beware the “incredible, intense pain” that kidney stones can cause.

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