Richard Madeley reveals how close Judy Finnigan came to death after 'vomiting blood'

Richard Madeley Judy Finnegan
(Image credit: Jonathan Hordle/REX/Shutterstock)

Presenter Richard Madeley has spoken candidly opened up the terrifying moment last year in which his wife Judy Finnigan was left vomiting blood and fearing for her life.

Just was left dangerously ill after taking over-the-counter ibuprofen, which left her with four dangerous stomach ulcers.

Speaking to The Sun, the 63-year-old GMB star revealed that the fast-reacting ambulance service essentially saved his wife's life.

He revealed, “I dialled 999 and the ambulance arrived in about four minutes."

Sharing how scarily close Judy came to death, he continued, explaining, “It was touch and f***ing go. While she was coming round from that, the surgeon said, ‘She’s going to be fine. Did you call the ambulance immediately?’

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“I said, ‘Yes,’ and he said, ‘Good, because if you’d waited another 20 minutes she probably would have bled out.’ Half an hour tops and she would have died.”

70-year-old Judy has also spoken openly about her experience, writing in the Daily Express.Explaining that she had been taking the pills daily for four weeks, Judy described how one night she woke up in bed, and "vomited copious amounts of blood".

She continued, saying it came, "Totally out of the blue. Never experienced anything like it before and hope to God I never will again."

The former This Morning host revealed that luckily, after heading to the hospital, she received two "life-saving blood transfusions".

"I survived thanks to an exceptionally swift-arriving and skilled ambulance crew, superb emergency treatment at London's Royal Free Hospital, and two major life-saving blood transfusions.

"My hugely experienced gastric consultant later told me that the smoking gun in my case was ibuprofen. He said I'd developed four large stomach ulcers in as many weeks. He'd found one directly above a main artery, which had ruptured."

Judy explained that as a result of the horrific ordeal, she's stopped taking the common painkiller altogether, and is keen to get her loved ones to do the same.

She confessed, "I'm absolutely fine now but I've become evangelical about stopping friends and family from taking ibuprofen. My consultant says he (and many of his colleagues) believe it should be banned from over-the-counter sale."

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Currently, ibuprofen is available over the counter and without a prescription, meaning it can be bought from a variety of places, including supermarkets and pharmacies.

While the NHS don't, at the moment, deem ibuprofen to be unsafe, they do provide information about the risks it could pose to you if you have existing health conditions, or don't take it correctly.

They also warn that "Taking high doses of ibuprofen over long periods of time can increase your risk of strokes and heart attacks."

Stomach ulcers, like Judy's, are also mentioned as a potential, but less common side effect, of taking the pain-killer.

Amy Hunt

Amy Hunt is an experienced digital journalist specialising in homes, interiors and hobbies. She began her career working as the features assistant at woman&home magazine, before moving over to the digital side of the brand where she eventually became the Lifestyle Editor up until January 2022. Amy won the Digital Journalist of the Year award at the AOP Awards in 2019 for her work on