Amanda Holden's incredible recovery after she 'died for 40 seconds'

Britain's Got Talent judge Amanda Holden
Britain's Got Talent judge Amanda Holden -Credit:PA

Amanda Holden has been on our screens for decades and has become a glamorous household name. But while Amanda's career has gone from strength to strength, her personal life has seen huge tragedies and a health battle which saw Amanda 'pass away for 40 seconds'.

The 53-year-old, who is back on our screens tonight as she returns as a judge for the 17th series of Britain's Got Talent, was left in a coma and spent three days in intensive care after the difficult birth of her daughter Hollie, now 11.

Amanda suffered a torn artery and her heart stopped for 40 seconds. Recounting the harrowing experience on Heart Breakfast, she revealed: "I actually did pass away for 40 seconds and then I went into a coma, but the NHS were there holding my hand and my husband's hand, who I feel sorry for him to be honest he went through it, watching it all."

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She later revealed how therapy helped her cope with the traumatic birth and her subsequent fears about her own mortality. "It makes you suddenly think, I have to live," Amanda said in an interview with Good Housekeeping magazine.

"I’ve got to live, but I’ve got to try and live a good, happy life for me too, and I think that’s why I faced up to the fact that I needed to speak to somebody. My therapist has told me I had no more tools or coping mechanisms left. She was very good at giving me sentences to say to make me stop panicking about my own mortality.

"I think you have none of these worries unless you’ve got children. If it had just been me and Chris [Hughes, her husband] and I’d died, it would have been awful for him but nowhere near as bad as a child losing their mother." Amanda and Chris are also parents to daughter Lexi, 18.

They also faced tragedy in 2011 when their son Theo died. Amanda, who drove herself to hospital after realising he had stopped moving at seven months, pays tribute to her son regularly online. Speaking on the BBC's Dear NHS Superstars special, Amanda recalled the horrifying moment she was told he had died.

She said: "Luckily for us, an obstetrician was coming past and Jackie [midwife] said to the obstetrician, 'please can you go in, I can't hear the patient's baby's heartbeat', and then I heard this guttural screaming. It was the most bizarre thing that's ever happened to me because it was me. I didn't know I was doing it. I had no control over myself, I thought it was another person making the noise. All these women were holding me, calming me down. I forgot entirely that I'd have to get the baby out and I'd have to give birth for our son."