Beloved Home and Away star, Ray Meagher, is back to work this week after a routine health check turned into emergency open heart surgery.
Speaking with David Koch and Samantha Armytage on the Sunrise couch on Monday, the TV veteran revealed what went wrong as he was preparing for an extended filming break of the hit show.
"I had the angiogram and they said 'there's a lump of concrete in there, a stent's not gonna move that, so get comfortable - you're going to be in overnight and then they got the chainsaw out they next day," Ray, who plays Alf Stewart on the long-running soap, told the co-hosts.
The routine test quickly found that one of the 75-year-old's arteries was 100 per cent blocked, with another two showing symptoms, causing him to undergo triple bypass surgery.
While it was a scary situation to be in, the TV WEEK Gold Logie winner admitted that the events of the day gave him a "second chance" at life.
"If I hadn't gone and had that angiogram, I would have been driving with my wife to Queensland and could have killed us both and some other poor innocent fella on the road," he said.
"Regular visits to your GP are a good start. Diet and exercise are pretty handy. It's really important to get checked, even if you've got just the slightest symptoms."
WATCH NEXT: Ray Meagher speaks to Sunrise about his open heart surgery. Story continues...
Ray has made a speedy recovery with the operation only taking place a mere six weeks ago, and believes he has his wife Gilly to thank for that.
"I've had a wonderful nurse, my wife has been absolutely amazing. It's been just fantastic to have her in house," he said.
In 2010, Ray married Gilly Meagher, a former nurse and is step-dad to one child, but for the country, he's Alf Stewart - a beloved Aussie personality who's been on screen for over three decades.
In an interview with TV WEEK, Ray admitted why he has stayed on Home and Away for so long.
"There have been a couple of times along the way where I've thought, 'Maybe I should go and do that,'" he concedes.
"Realistically, I don't need more than five fingers to name the jobs that were firm offers that I would have done other than this.
"So, this job has stopped me doing those five jobs. But then you look at the opportunities it has created."
Opportunities or life experiences aside, there is one key ingredient that keeps Ray in the Bay. It's not the work. It's not necessarily the scripts. Not even the show itself.
"It's what makes up the show – it's the people," he says. "It's the people who have made it such a wonderful place to go to work for so long."
We're so happy he's made such a wonderful recovery!
- Local NewsHow you can help farmers and communities affected by the drought this Christmas
Australian Women's WeeklyYesterday 5:55pm