Michelle Heaton's body began "shutting down" due to alcohol abuse.

Michelle Heaton

Michelle Heaton

The Liberty X singer checked into rehab in April to seek help for addictions to drugs and booze but she admitted her health had been failing for some time and she'd been given stark warnings months before she agreed to have treatment.

Her husband, Hugh Hanley, said: "Four days before going to the Priory she also had a very bad fit in bed at 2am. She wouldn’t stop shaking and her mouth was drooling. That was scary and it really spooked her.

"Her skin was also changing colour and she hadn’t eaten for days. Things had got so bad there was no way out. She was told in September 2020, with her liver the way it was, she was going to die if she did nothing about it.

"Fast-forward to April and Michelle was vomiting constantly and on the toilet constantly. It was heartbreaking to see. Nothing would get through to her."

Michelle added: "My skin was translucent and you could see all my veins. I was skinny but I had a very big hard belly and my liver was protruding.

"I also wasn’t washing for days and my hair was falling out and had become very thin because of the alcohol abuse and hormones. I’d gone down to 7st 13lbs. My body was shutting down and couldn’t function without the alcohol.

"I’d be sick with it but I’d be worse without it and shaking. So many times I would wake up in the morning and scream for help, knowing no one was in the house."

Although she's now been sober for three months, the 42-year-old star - who has children Faith, nine, and seven-year-old AJ - will be on medication for life because of the damage she's caused to her body.

She admitted to OK! magazine: "My liver recovered and my liver function is now normal, but it doesn’t forget, so if I have even one drink it will go again really quickly.

"My pancreas on the other hand doesn’t function so I’ll be on tablets for the rest of my life because I can’t digest my food and that’s left me with very bad bowel issues."

Michelle is "surprised" her husband didn't leave her and she's equally shocked to still be alive.

She said: "I’m surprised Hugh’s still here and I think he is, too.

"It might sound selfish, but the first four months of this year it would have been easier to die. I’m surprised I’m still here.

"It wasn’t like I wanted to commit suicide but the reality was I knew I was going to die and Hugh and the kids would have to go through that, but I still couldn’t stop and that’s how cruel this disease is."

Hugh added: "It put a massive strain on our marriage. A lot of people would say, 'You need to leave her and give her the wake-up call,' but I didn’t think that was the right way to go about it. I didn’t want to give up on her or us.

"The reality was she was either going to end up in rehab, severely ill in hospital or dead."