Gemma Atkinson to undergo tests to see if she has was what killed dad amid health fears

Gemma Atkinson discusses her dad’s death

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Former Strictly Come Dancing contestant Gemma Atkinson has opened up on her choice to have a “full heart MOT” due to her fears that heart disease could be hereditary following her dad’s tragic death. Gemma lost her dad when she was just 17-years-old after he suffered a heart attack.

The Hits Radio presenter admitted she had been “putting it off for almost 20 years”, but felt she needed to undergo the tests after becoming a parent when she welcomed her daughter Mia, two, with fiancé Gorka Marquez.

Gemma told her 1.6 million Instagram followers that she will be appearing on Steph McGovern’s show, Steph’s Packed Lunch, on Friday to share her test results in a bid to encourage viewers to get their own health checks.

The former Emmerdale star wrote alongside a preview for the episode: “Today’s the day. 

“After putting it off for almost 20 years (mainly in fear of finding something wrong) I’ve decided to have a full heart MOT. 

“I think my dad would be pleased I’m finally doing it, and being a parent myself I kinda feel I have even more of that responsibility.”

Gemma went on to say that she dreads to think of Mia dealing with the grief she struggled with after her dad’s death.

The star also appeared to cite Christian Eriksen’s on-pitch cardiac arrest in the opening week of Euro 2020 in Copenhagen as an example that even if someone looks fit and healthy, they can still suffer from heart conditions.

The 29-year-old Denmark footballer’s collapse prompted medics to rush on to the pitch to perform emergency CPR on him, before he was revived and rushed to hospital in Copenhagen, where he was then brought into a stable position.


The Hollyoaks actress divulged: “I’d hate for Mia to go through what I went through age 17. 

“With what’s happened of late it’s proof that just because we can look fit and healthy, it isn’t always the case that our hearts are functioning correctly.”

Gemma continued: “I’m excited but also nervous of what the outcome will be as I’ve always wondered if heart disease is hereditary. 

“I hope this encourages other people to get their checkups and not be afraid. 

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“I’ll be on @packedlunchc4 on Friday showing all the tests, what happened and my results.”

It comes after Gemma recalled the moment her mother woke her up in the middle of the night to tell her about her father’s death.

“Anger and constant looking back gets us nowhere,” she said back in April alongside photos of her beloved dad.

The soap star told her Instagram followers: “19 yrs ago today my life changed with 1 phone call.

“I still remember mum coming into my room in the middle of the night to tell me Dad had died. He’d had a heart attack.

“Grief sucks. It’s difficult & different for everyone but something we all have to go through.

“One thing I know for sure is that the world keeps turning with or without us and time still passes.

“Dad always used to say to me, ‘Don’t let the b*****ds grind you down’.

“He always said to keep on going because better times were coming,” she went on to add.

Gemma went on to admit: “I learnt to live with my new circumstance and way of life without dad in it.

“I’ve still not accepted it 100 per cent and I question daily why a loving, present and caring dad would be taken over one that couldn’t care less for his family, but I guess that’s just life.”

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