How ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ star Jaime Dornan landed in hospital after heart attack scare

James Peter Maxwell Dornan is an actor, model, and musician, born on May 1, 1982, in Hollywood, County Down, Northern Ireland.

In 2020, he was named one of Ireland’s greatest film actors by The Irish Times.

Jaime Dornan had taken a trip to Portugal for a vacation, however, the vacation didn’t go as planned as the Fifty Shades of Grey star landed in a hospital.
It was after experiencing heart attack symptoms caused by a toxic caterpillar.

The incident was thought to have been caused by the hairs on the bugs, part of their defense mechanism against predators.
Dornan’s friend, Gordon Smart, also suffered symptoms at the same time.

Prior to that day, the duo had been drinking wine and cocktails before their round of golf on the first night, as they enjoyed the warmer weather of the Iberian Peninsula onto to both fall ill and go to the ER.

“Jamie said: ‘Dear me. Gordon, about 20 minutes after you left, my left arm went numb,” Smart said to The Good, the Bad and the Unexpected podcast. “My left leg went numb, my right leg went numb, and I found myself in the back of an ambulance’.”

The actor experienced similar symptoms while playing golf in 2023 and according to Smart, can count himself lucky that he will walk away from this one still alive.

Dornan at a glance

The erotic actor grew up in the suburbs of Belfast. His mother, Lorna, died of pancreatic cancer when Dornan was 16, while his father Jim Dornan, an obstetrician and gynecologist died from complications related to COVID-19 on 15 March 2021.

Dornan has two older sisters, their names are Liesa and Jessica.
Liesa works for Disney in London, and Jessica is a fashion designer based in Falmouth, Cornwall, England.

He attended and boarded at Methodist College Belfast. There, he played rugby and actively participated in the drama department.

Dornan attended Teesside University but dropped out.
In 2002, he moved to London, where he trained as an actor, but never applied to drama school.

He worked in a pub in Knightbridge for six months until he embarked on his modelling career. According to him, those six months were ‘rough time’, Dornan stated he went through much financial hardship and to make ends meet.

The caterpillars

Smart, the son of a doctor, began to panic once he felt the tingling in his limbs after he also had contact with one of the caterpillars.

The caterpillars are common on golf courses in the south of Portugal and have killed dogs and given men in their 40s cardiac arrests.

“Anyway, the next day, we played golf,” Smart added. “We were all absolutely dreadful and I started to feel tingling in my left hand and then tickling in my left arm.

“I’m the son of a GP and thought: ‘This is normally 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.”

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