Meghan Markle’s father (pictured on Thursday last week) is alert and out of heart surgery, it has been revealed
Meghan Markle‘s father is alert and out of heart surgery, it has been revealed.
Thomas Markle, 73, said he underwent surgery on Wednesday morning following a heart attack last week.
Mr Markle told TMZ that doctors implanted three stents in his blood vessels.
‘I’m okay. It will take a long time to heal,’ he said.
‘Staying in the hospital a few more days. Not allowed to get excited.’
Meghan’s father had previously revealed on Tuesday that he wouldn’t be able to attend the royal wedding because of the surgery.
Meghan’s half-sister Samantha was also in the hospital on Wednesday after suffering a broken ankle and fractured knee.
Samantha’s boyfriend Mark told TMZ that they were driving in Florida when they had a ‘paparazzi confrontation’.
He claims a photographer veered in front of their car to get a clear shot. Mark said he then tried to avoid him by swerving to the left, and crashed into a concrete barrier.
Mark said Samantha, who suffers from multiple sclerosis and is in a wheelchair, hit the windshield and fell to the floor. He said her foot was twisted backwards.
The accident comes just hours after Samantha said Mr Markle is ‘upset and alone’ in the hospital following his surgery.
She also slammed claims that Kensington Palace has come to the aid of Mr Markle.
‘That is not true or he would not have been living in his place,’ she told The Sun.
‘He’d have had a reliable vehicle. He’d have been with security. I have receipts showing I’ve sent my father money twice by MoneyGram because he needed it.’
‘He is badly in need of help. I’m dreadfully worried about him. He’s completely on his own.’
Samantha claims her father checked in ‘anonymously’ at a hospital to avoid photographers.
Mr Markle is thought to have previously stayed at General Hospital in Rosarito, the town where he lives, but it is unclear where Wednesday’s operation took place.
Samantha, who is currently in Florida, said Mr Markle was also devastated that he could not walk his daughter down the aisle.
The surgery is the latest twist surrounding Mr Markle’s attendance at Meghan’s wedding
Mr Markle revealed he believes his heart attack was triggered by an open letter his son, Thomas Jr (pictured), wrote to Prince Harry trying to convince him not to marry Meghan
‘He was upset. He wanted to go,’ she said. ‘But his doctor had the overruling opinion that he needed surgery. So he’s smart enough to know, this is life-threatening.’
Samantha also claims Kensington Palace did not offer to fly Mr Markle to London early or provide any information on how and when he should get there.
She alleges that Harry, who has never met Meghan’s father, made no contact with Mr Markle and that Meghan hasn’t contacted him since the heart attack.
This goes directly against Mr Markle’s own claims that Meghan called and texted him after he decided to pull out of the wedding.
Mr Markle told TMZ that Meghan tried calling him on Monday, but he wasn’t near his phone. She later sent a text saying she loved him and was concerned about his health.
Mr Markle’s son Thomas, who is being blamed by his father for the heart attack, agreed with Samantha that Kensington Palace didn’t do enough for their father.
‘It would have been better for the palace to have guided him, as well as us for the matter, to ensure the focus is on Harry and Meg and not her family back in the States,’ Thomas told Mirror Online.
‘They should have intervened and guided us when Meg and Harry’s relationship was first made public.’
The surgery has been the latest twist on a roller coaster of speculation surrounding whether Mr Markle would attend Saturday’s royal wedding at Windsor Castle in Berkshire.
It came just hours after Meghan seemed to have convinced her father to change his mind and walk her down the aisle.
Mr Markle pulled out on Monday, saying he didn’t want to further embarrass his daughter after The Mail On Sunday revealed he had staged paparazzi photos for money.
But on Tuesday it seemed he had backtracked on his decision after the bride-to-be pleaded with him to come to England for the big day.
Meghan, pictured with Harry on April 25, pleaded with her father to walk her down the aisle
Mr Markle has said he believed his ex-wife Doria Ragland would be a ‘good choice’ to give their daughter away at St George’s Chapel, Windsor. Pictured: Doria with Meghan in March 2015
‘I hate the idea of missing one of the greatest moments in history and walking my daughter down the aisle,’ Mr Markle said. ‘Of course I’d walk her down the aisle. This is a historic moment. I’d like to be a part of history.’
While Meghan may have forgiven him, it appears the paparazzi photos have further strained Mr Markle’s relationship with her mother Doria Ragland.
A source told The Sun Online: ‘Thomas and Doria are currently barely speaking to one another.’
‘He is trying to make peace after everything that has happened. Their relationship had been hanging by a thread for months before the staged photo scandals.’
‘He had told friends that he wanted to come with the peace gesture for an appeasement before the wedding and his daughter’s big day, but his recent actions have crushed that.’
Mr Markle has blamed his recent health troubles on his son Thomas, who told Harry that marrying Meghan would be the ‘biggest mistake in royal wedding history’.
‘It’s not too late, Meghan Markle is obviously not the right woman for you,’ Thomas’ letter, shared with InTouch, reads. ‘I’m confused why you don’t see the real Meghan that the whole world now sees.’
Thomas went on to call his half-sister a ‘jaded, shallow, conceited woman, that will make a fool of you and the royal family heritage’.
Just a week later, in another open letter, Thomas apologised for his words and begged Meghan to invite him to her wedding.
Thomas has since flown into London to support his half-sister, despite the fact that he is not invited to the wedding.
He said that his father’s recent health troubles have ‘put everything into perspective about what’s important in life’.
‘My sister’s going to be one of the best things ever to have happened to the royal family,’ Thomas told Mirror Online on Wednesday.
‘She will be the perfect modern princess. I wish Meg and Harry nothing but a happy and healthy future together.’
Mr Markle said that he did not want to embarrass his daughter (pictured together, circa 2000)
Mr Markle was spotted grabbing two Happy Meals from McDonald’s and a chocolate milkshake to wash it all down last Thursday – two days after he said he suffered a heart attack
He was also seen getting a chocolate milkshake topped with whipped cream. DailyMail.com revealed that Meghan’s father did not seek medical attention on the day of his ‘heart attack’
A few hours later, Mr Markle was spotted at a local KFC where he picked up a bucket of fried chicken for his dinner (above)
Thomas also said he was ‘mortified’ to hear that his father blamed his heart attack on the open letter to Prince Harry.
‘My letter wasn’t intended to cause hurt or upset,’ Thomas said. ‘My earlier pleas fell on deaf ears, and after exhausting everything I could think of, I’d hoped my letter might shame the palace, I guess, into getting in touch.’
‘I was wrong. It wasn’t designed to humiliate Meg into inviting me, but more hoping we could get the help we needed. Ever since her relationship with Harry emerged two years ago, our lives have been changed forever.’
‘We needed guidance from the royals but didn’t get it.’
Earlier this week, Mr Markle revealed that Meghan held no hard feelings against him for setting up paparazzi photos for money.
When asked what the Queen thought about his money grab, Mr Markle laughed and said: ‘I don’t think the Queen is thinking about what I’m doing.’
Mr Markle said although he doesn’t believe faking the ‘hammy’ photos was that serious, he admitted it was a ‘stupid’ decision.
He also blasted eldest daughter Samantha, who revealed she convinced Mr Markle to set up the photos.
Mr Markle said Samantha has no real relationship with Meghan, and knows nothing of her relationship with Harry.
Before changing his mind, Mr Markle said he believed his ex-wife Doria Ragland would be a ‘good choice’ to give their daughter away at St George’s Chapel.
Miss Ragland touched down in the UK from Los Angeles on Wednesday to support her daughter and is the clear favourite to walk her down the aisle.
Prince Charles is 2/1 with the bookies to step in, while Prince William is 5/1 to take Meghan into St George’s Chapel before starting his duties as Harry’s best man.
There have also been a flurry of bets on Meghan walking down the aisle alone. On Monday night, Mr Markle told TMZ that Miss Ragland should be the person to do it.
Doria Ragland (left, with her daughter in Toronto in September 2017) has been keeping a low profile ahead of Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding (the couple, pictured right on April 23)
The yoga instructor and social worker has been described by Meghan as a ‘free spirited clinical therapist’ and she has been seen alongside Meghan at a number of public events.
Harry, who has described her as ‘amazing’, flew Miss Ragland out to Toronto to join Meghan and himself at the Invictus Games last year.
Royal experts said at the time that Harry’s decision to invite Meghan’s mother to join them at the closing ceremony of the tournament was ‘hugely significant’.
Miss Ragland was already expected to have an ‘important role’ during the ceremony. It is thought she will ride with Meghan in the car to the chapel to Windsor Castle.
She is also expected to meet the Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Charles and Camilla and Prince William and his wife, Kate, before the big day.
The 73-year-old said Meghan tried calling him on Monday, but he wasn’t near his phone. She later sent a text saying she loved him and was concerned about his health. Pictured: The father and daughter in her teenage years
Thomas Markle is seen on surveillance video entering an internet cafe with photographer Jeff Rayner to set up staged photos
A friend of Meghan and Harry‘s told the Mail that she was standing by her father and pleaded for understanding, saying he was ‘not in a good place’.
Meghan wouldn’t be the first to be given away by a woman at a royal wedding
If Meghan Markle’s mother does walk her down the aisle it won’t be the first time it has happened.
Queen Victoria gave away her youngest child Princess Beatrice at St Mildred’s Church, Whippingham on the Isle of Wight in 1885.
She wore black to remember her husband Prince Albert who had died 24 years earlier, although her outfit is believed to have been encrusted with diamonds.
Royal historian Victoria Howard told the BBC: ‘I think it would be a lovely touch for Meghan’s mother Doria to walk her down the aisle.
‘It would be unusual but it wouldn’t be an unprecedented move. Queen Victoria walked two of her daughters down the aisle’.
The friend said: ‘This is not what she wants. She obviously wants her dad there. And the idea of contemplating him not being there now is not something that she wants to have to do.
‘She and Prince Harry are begging for people to give him some space. They have been saying this for weeks, while trying to offer him support and help.
‘He is clearly feeling under immense pressure. The concern for him is real and genuine. He is a proud man who wants to be a father and not be taken care of, but it’s quite difficult.
‘Everyone needs to pause and think what this is doing to them and, more importantly, to him. It is a really worrying, scary situation. The couple have been doing everything they can to help him.’
Harry, 33, is said to be distraught and could try to get Mr Markle to change his mind.
The friend said: ‘Harry feels guilty that this has happened to someone he loves because they are in a relationship with him.
‘He is devastated. He feels like this is another thing in the wake of him… the problems he causes. He feels that anyone who gets associated with his life – this is the price they have to pay.
‘He wants to protect her and this is really difficult for him to swallow.’
Meghan will now be accompanied by only mother at the wedding (Doria Ragland with Prince Harry and Meghan in September)
WHAT IS A STENT PLACEMENT – AND WHY WOULD A PATIENT GET THREE STENTS AT ONCE?
by Mia de Graaf, US Health Editor
Stents hold arteries open to help improve blood flow to the heart and relieve chest pain.
Past president of the American Heart Association, Dr Sidney Smith, MD, told Daily Mail Online how stents work, when they are placed, and why a patient might need three stents at once.
HOW IS THE PROCEDURE PERFORMED?
A stent is a wire mesh tube that props open arteries.
To open the narrowed artery, the surgeon may perform what’s known as an angioplasty.
It involves making a small incision in a patient’s arm or leg, through which a wire with an attached deflated balloon is thread through up to the coronary arteries.
In some cases, this is all that’s needed, to go in and break up the blockage, without putting any permanent artery-openers in place.
However, in some cases surgeons will put in a stent to keep the arteries held open.
The stent surrounds the deflated balloon and expands with it when the balloon is inflated.
After the balloon has been deflated and removed, the stent stays in the artery permanently.
A stent is a wire mesh tube used to prop open an artery during an angioplasty. Once the balloon is removed, the stent remains to keep the artery open
HOW COMMON IS IT?
Angioplasties are increasingly common in the United States and Mexico due to rising rates of heart issues.
And stents are becoming increasingly common in angioplasty patients, since it is very common for the arteries to narrow again if nothing is put in place (this is known as restenosis, and happens in about a third of cases).
CAN IT BE PERFORMED DAYS OR WEEKS AFTER A HEART ATTACK?
Yes – depending on what kind of heart attack was suffered.
There are two kinds of blockages – a STEMI (which is a complete blockage) or an NSTEMI (a partial blockage).
STEMI stands for ‘ST-elevation myocardial infarction’, which means the patient has suffered cardiac enzyme changes, and changes to their electrical heart activity, as seen on an EKG scan.
A non-STEMI heart attack, or NSTEMI heart attack, is less urgent. It means they suffered enzyme changes but no changes on their EKG.
‘A STEMI is a very big, severe heart attack where a patient comes into the emergency room and the artery is totally blocked, and needs to be opened up straight away and the stent is placed,’ Dr Smith, Professor of Medicine, Cardiology, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, explained.
‘That’s the patient that goes direct into surgery.’
‘In other cases, the patient may have a non-STEMI. They may have chest pain, and they come into the hospital with enzyme changes but no changes on their EKG [electrical activity of the heart]. The need is not urgent. Stents are placed but it can be days later.’
WHY WOULD A PATIENT GET THREE STENTS AT ONCE?
It depends how many blockages they had, or how many vessels were affected.
‘The decision to place stents in the coronary arteries is based on the number of significant blockages that’s there,’ Dr Smith explain