Jamie Dornan was hospitalised with heart attack-like symptoms caused by toxic caterpillars while on a recent trip to Portugal, his friend Gordon Smart has revealed. Smart had to be taken to the hospital after experiencing the same symptoms too while vacationing together at a golfing resort.
Smart recalled the ordeal on BBC’s The Good, the Bad and the Unexpected podcast, claiming they initially thought they felt unwell because they had too many drinks the night before. However, they eventually learned that their health woes were caused by processionary caterpillars, known to be toxic.
Smart recalled how, just a day into their vacation, he felt a “tingling in his left hand and tickling in his left arm” that made him think it was “the sign of the start of a heart attack.” “Now, I’m a fairly healthy guy but once you start thinking, you’re having a heart attack, you’re pretty sure that you’re convincing yourself that you are having one,” he said.
Smart was rushed to the hospital and eventually discharged. He returned to the hotel to find Dornan sick this time. “Jamie said, ‘Dear me. Gordon, about 20 minutes after you left, my left arm went numb, my left leg went numb, my right leg went numb, and I found myself in the back of an ambulance,’” Smart recalled.
“Anyway, as he left the hospital, the paramedics asked them for a selfie, which is really what you want when you’re being wheeled out of a hospital room,” he said.
The doctor called Smart the following week and revealed that toxic caterpillars may have caused their nightmare. “And it turns out that there are caterpillars on golf courses in the south of Portugal that have been killing people’s dogs and giving men in their 40s heart attacks,” he shared.
“It turns out we’d brushed up against hairy processionary caterpillars and have been very lucky to come out of that one alive,” he added. “So there’s my story; the good news is it wasn’t a caffeine overdose, it wasn’t a hangover — it was a poisonous, toxic caterpillar.”