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Elton John After Surgery: ‘I feel so lucky and grateful to be alive.’

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Elton John announced several weeks ago that he would postpone tour dates after a medical team discovered an inflamed appendix and a surrounding abscess. Doctors initially treated the appendicitis with antibiotics, but John was advised to undergo surgery, leading to more cancelled shows.

According to the BBC, John successfully underwent surgery Thursday (August 1) at Monaco’s Princess Grace Hospital and is currently recovering at his home in Nice, France.

“I was a ticking time bomb. I guess I could have died at any time,” says John, reports the BBC. “I feel so lucky and grateful to be alive.”

The 66-year-old performed several concerts in agony last month before finally cancelling the rest of his Summer tour. Before undergoing surgery, John left a personal message to fans on his website, thanking them for their support:

“I would like to thank the literally thousands of people who have sent me get well cards and messages over the past two weeks. Your well wishes have touched me deeply and will play a big part in my recovery.”

John is hoping for a quick recovery and aims to hit the stage next month with shows in September at the U.K. Brit Awards and in Las Vegas.

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