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Veteran actor, Jagger Pee cannot stop praising God for giving him another shot at life after a heart attack nearly took him to his grave last year.
Last Tuesday, September 26, was exactly one year since the Obra actor had surgery to replace two out of his four heart valves with artificial ones. The non – functioning valves had been destroyed due to the enlargement of his heart caused by a hypertensive condition.
When Showbiz caught up with him on Tuesday at the National Theatre, Jagger Pee, who described his survival as an act of God, looked so well and was all smiles. “I’m happy to be alive” were his first words when this reporter asked how he was doing.
Recalling his troubles, he said he grew lean over a period last year but didn’t really give it any serious thought since he had not shown any symptoms of sickness.
He went went about his normal life until that fateful day when he suffered the heart attack. “Everything was fine that day. I was part of a live discussion on TV and then we went on break. Just then, I started sweating profusely and I had a severe headache. I couldn’t breathe well and I felt dizzy.
“I was first rushed to the Holy Trinity Hospital at North Kaneshie but I was immediately transferred to the 37 Millitary hospital. That was where my heart ailment was revealed but my condition was beyond their capability so I was sent to Korle-bu for further diagnosis by heart specialists.
“Tell me, which human being survives high blood pressure above 280. The heart specialists at Korle-bu and doctors at the 37 Military Hospital were surprised I was still alive when they gave me the diagnosis,” he said.
As if he didn’t have enough problems with his heart condition, the father of three was given further bad news. He had to cough up $20,000 for surgery if he didn’t want to die.
Jagger Pee confessed to Showbiz that he hadn’t seen such an amount in his life before and wondered how he could raise the money.
Not even an offer by the Ghana Heart Foundation to take up half of the cost was good news since he faced a huge task to raise the remaining GH¢40,000 ($10,000).
However, in his moment of despair, Jagger Pee said God sent a good Samaritan in the person of Prophet Emmanuel Kobi of the Glorious Wave Church to foot the bill.
On September 26, 2016, he had a successful four-hour heart surgery to replace his non-functioning heart valves with artificial ones.
Today, an energetic man is what one immediately sees and Jagger Pee credits the dedicated doctors at the 37 Military and the Korle Bu Teaching Hospitals for their relentless efforts to keep him alive.
He is also grateful for the role the former First Lady, Lordina Mahama, the media, individuals and friends such as Nii Saka Brown and Edinam Atatsi played in raising funds for his surgery.
The incident, he says has drawn him closer to God because he knew he was knocking on death’s door.
Born Abeiku Nyame, Jagger Pee was one of the leading actors in Ghana in the 90s and has made a tremendous contribution to the Ghanaian movie industry in spite of his stint in prison.
In 1996, he was sentenced alongside his friend and music star, Gee Man following a shooting incident at the CFC Flats, Dome in Accra, in which a taxi driver was killed. He was granted amnesty after serving two years of his life sentence.
He told Showbiz that even though he was angry at the turn out of events initially, he now has no resentment for his childhood friend who he last heard of in February last year.
The Too Late actor says he is taking it a step at time before getting back on screen.
He is the author of two books, Prison Prayers and Behind Bars which tells the story of his life in prison.