Martine McCutcheon hospitalised on husband’s birthday with chronic illness
10th August 2023

Martine McCutcheon shares video clips on Mallorca holiday after CFS flare up

EastEnders star Martine McCutcheon has revealed her sorrow about having to spend her singer-songwriter husband Jack McManus’ birthday in hospital last year.

The 47-year-old was left feeling so dizzy she couldn’t stand up after having a flare-up of chronic fatigue syndrome, a condition she has lived with for over a decade.

It’s poorly understood, with no definitive cause, but some doctors believe it could be related to an overactive or malfunctioning immune system.

Digging out some holiday snaps from happier times this year, she wrote on Instagram: “I wanted to share these as my husband’s birthday was kind of an extra big deal for me this year – Last year was terrible.

“I was so dizzy I could barely stand, I had been in hospital with my CFS and to say Jack held the fort is an understatement.”

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She lamented: “His birthday was pretty rubbish [last time], so I’m SO grateful and glad we got to enjoy this one… And that we got to see some friends!”

She was referring to her trip earlier in the month, when Martine had summoned up the strength to party in Majorca with her husband to mark him turning 39 on August 4.

Despite an exhausting time initially going through airport security, she vowed to her 581,000 Instagram followers she’d be making the most of the island’s party atmosphere at the earliest opportunity.

“I’m ready to swing my hips and bring out the dancer in me again – and spin like I haven’t in a long time!!” she enthused, before adding that she would “deal with” the pain later if it “decided to show up”.

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Martine continued in her latest Instagram caption, which looked back on the trip: “I have to plan things pretty last minute as I don’t know how my symptoms will be and I hate letting people down – [my friends] all live all over the UK too.

“So now, I only surround myself with people who understand that if I need to cancel something (& that can happen often) it’s not a choice I want to make and that they go ahead and book something and if they see me rocking up, it’s a bonus!”

She added that she urged her friends to Google the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome, known as CFS, and fibromyalgia.

The latter can cause agonising pain all over the body, coupled with extreme exhaustion, while CFS has wide-ranging symptoms but can leave the sufferer feeling as though they are chronically infected with a cold or flu.

“If they love you, [Googling] is the least they can do! Understanding helps with support. So thank you to our friends who came with a few hours notice!” she wrote.

Martine also shared that she brought sensory earplugs on the trip to help prevent her feeling overwhelmed, as CFS and fibromyalgia sometimes give her “sensory overload”.

“I just keep grinning that we did it. Don’t get me wrong I slept like a log after but it was SO worth it!

“I wanted to share this, as people only see snippets on Insta and life isn’t all fun and games… But I’m not going to wait till things are perfect to live and love my life,” she concluded.

“Grab what you can! Glad this birthday was better baby love you @jackmcmanus.”

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