General Hospital's Chad Duell recalls harrowing health scare related to COVID-19

Posted Thursday, September 22, 2022 1:14:34 PM
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Fans of General Hospital have no doubt noticed a different face in the role of Michael Corinthos from time to time since the start of this past summer. Actor Chad Duell explains the frightening reason for the recasts.

Fans of General Hospital have noticed a different face in the role of Michael Corinthos from time to time since the start of this past summer. Long-time portrayer Chad Duell has shared the spotlight as Michael with former The Young and the Restless actor Robert Adamson, who stepped into the role on a temporary basis beginning on June 1.

Over the weekend, Duell opened up about the reason his character had to be recast in several episodes. Duell appeared as a guest on State of Mind, the weekly video series hosted by GH co-star Maurice Benard (Sonny Corinthos), who plays Michael's on-screen father.

Duell said he suffered from myocarditis as a result of having COVID-19. Myocarditis is defined as inflammation of the heart muscles, and according to Duell, he's come down with COVID-19 "a number of times."

"They're saying that with COVID, up to three months after you have it, sometimes people get this," Duell said of his diagnosis. "It's a long-term COVID effect."

Duell said that his health scare had been so bad, the actor even had thoughts that he might die.

"I thought I had COVID again (initially). I had the symptoms of it," Duell said. "I was testing negative, but I thought that maybe it was a new strand. On the fourth day, my chest was hurting unbelievably bad. I thought I was going to have a heart attack. I thought I should go to the hospital, it was so painful. They ended up admitting me the next day and ran a blood test."

"I just have to take the right medication. I'm okay now, but I thought I was dying," Duell added. "I can't even tell you the pain I felt. I had morphine and it wasn't doing anything. I was scared. Now I'm trying to get back into the rhythm of things."

Duell said that his troponin levels -- a protein that appears in the blood only when the heart muscle is damaged -- indicated that he'd suffered a heart attack.

"I was (in the hospital) for multiple days," Duell said. "They even did an angiogram. When you're in the hospital, and you don't know what's going on, you have to put your mind into this place of just existing in the moment. You don't want to think the worst-case (scenario), you've just got to live in this weird place of not trying to think. You just exist. It was like an episode of House. I was by far the youngest guy in there. You had guys on their deathbed."

While all of that is pretty harrowing, Duell said that he feels much better now.

"I went to my cardiologist a couple of days back, and he said I was good," the actor noted. "Still, I'm going to be cautious for the next couple of months and (slowly) get back to normal living."

Duell assumed the role of Michael in 2010. In 2015, Duell won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his performance as Michael. He was nominated for the award again in 2017.

In addition, Duell was nominated for Outstanding Younger Actor in a Drama Series in 2011, 2012, and 2014.

Do you want to send well-wishes to Chad Duell for a full recovery? Are you thankful that the show was able to keep the role open for him while he recovered? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.

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