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Movies & TV

23rd Jan 2024

Jamie Dornan taken to hospital after terrifying encounter on holiday

Simon Kelly

Jamie Dornan

“I found myself in the back of an ambulance.”

Jamie Dornan was taken to hospital after a terrifying encounter with a dangerous insect, it has been revealed.

Gordon Smart, a British broadcaster and personal friend of Dornan’s opened up about how a golf trip in Portugal led to both him and the Irish actor in hospital with what they suspected was a heart attack.

Good Morning Britain presenter Smart explained that he was just one day into his holiday with The Tourist star and some other friends, when he felt a “tingling in his left hand and tickling in his left arm”.

Jamie Dornan taken to hospital after terrifying encounter on holiday

After seeking medical attention at hospital and finding he had a high resting heart rate, Smart ventured back to the hotel to find Dornan hooked up to medical equipment with similar symptoms.

“It turns out we’d brushed up against hairy processionary caterpillars and have been very lucky to come out of that one alive,” Smart said on Scottish BBC panel show The Good, the Bad and the Unexpected.

Detailing their day of golf after a boozy night, Smart said that he “started to feel tingling in my left hand and then tickling in my left arm. I’m the son of a GP and thought, ‘This is normally the sign of the start of a heart attack.’”

After returning from hospital, Smart ran into the Irish Hollywood star, who told him: “‘Dear me, Gordon, about 20 minutes after you left, my left arm went numb, my left leg went numb, my right leg went numb, and I found myself in the back of an ambulance.'”

“And it turns out that there are caterpillars on golf courses in the south of Portugal that have been killing people’s dogs and giving men in their 40s heart attacks,” Smart said.

Processionary caterpillars are common to areas of pine around Portugal and have hairs containing an irritant chemical called thaumetopoein.

If humans come into contact with the caterpillar, their hairs can cause severe rashes, eye irritation and even an allergic reaction.

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Jamie Dornan