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Michelle Heaton’s pancreas has been “completely destroyed” by her alcoholism.
The Liberty X singer checked into rehab last May to receive help for her drinking and though she’s stayed sober since then, she’s still experiencing the effects booze has had on her body.
She said: “Rehab saved my life – after my medical examination there, they told me I’d have been dead within days if I hadn’t got help.
“I’m still on medication to help my pancreas function as it’s been completely destroyed.
“Recovery is the hardest thing I’ve ever done but my fight to keep sober is something I’ll do every day for the rest of my life.”
The 42-year-old star – who has children Faith, 10, and right-year-old AJ with husband Hugh Hanley – is thankful she’s got a strong support system in place to help her stay sober.
She said: “The girls [Liberty X bandmates Kelli Young and Jessica Taylor] have been amazing. On my first gig after being sober, they removed all the alcohol from my rider and gave me so much support.
“I used to question whether people would find me boring or not like me sober.
“But now I know who my real friends are and I’m so excited about everything I have to look forward to.
“I love my family and I’m not striving for anything any more.”
In 2012, Michelle had a preventative double mastectomy, followed three years later by a hysterectomy because she was at risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer, and the latter procedure sent her into early menopause.
It’s only now she is sober that the ‘Just A Little’ hitmaker has been able to “tackle” her emotions over the surgeries and her menopause.
She told Closer magazine: “I used booze for years to numb my emotions but now I have to tackle them.
“I’ve now been able to process going through the menopause properly without using booze as a coping mechanism.”