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Tracey Emin recovering in Thailand after her intestine ‘nearly exploded’

By Jack Guy, CNN

London (CNN) — Renowned British artist Tracey Emin has revealed that she is recovering after her “small intestine nearly exploded.”

Emin, who underwent extensive surgery to treat an aggressive bladder cancer in 2020, said she had been traveling before feeling “very unwell.”

“Not cancer but horrible complications with my intestines bought on by an infection , scar tissue and made a million times worse by flying,” she wrote in an Instagram post published Sunday.

“My small intestine nearly exploded. Luckily for me I was in Thailand on my way back from Australia, so I spent a few days in a very good hospital .. and now recovering in luxury,” she added.

“Apart from using up another one of my 9 lives. I’d say I was very lucky. I’m now on a special diet and will fly when I’m well enough. Meanwhile it’s absolutely fantastic to be in love, not to be in pain and know how lucky I am,” Emin continued.

The 60-year-old artist shot to fame in 1998 with her brutally honest installation, “My Bed.

The unkempt bed, which was shortlisted for the Turner Prize and later sold for more than $4 million, was a window into Emin’s private life, strewn with used condoms, soiled underwear and a full ashtray.

By 2000, Emin was a leading light in the Young British Artists (YBA) movement, known for her frank, confessional pieces, including a tent appliquéd with the names of everyone she’d ever slept with.

She remains one of Britain’s best-known living artists, and has been open about her health struggles.

Emin previously revealed that the squamous-cell bladder cancer she was diagnosed with in 2020 was the same type that killed her mother in 2016.

In a previous interview with CNN, Emin recounted how she was alone in her studio when the doctor phoned her with the result.

“I laughed. I laughed. I was shocked,” she said of her initial reaction.

“There was a good chance I wasn’t going to make it. It was all reliant on the surgery. I had a fantastic surgeon, luckily enough,” she said.

Emin underwent a six-and-a-half-hour operation and has since revealed many personal details: The team of 12 surgeons removed her bladder, urethra, uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, part of her colon and part of her vagina.

But the crucial news was that the cancer hadn’t spread to her lymph nodes. Her ordeal and her willingness to talk about it propelled her onto the front pages of newspapers, while cancer charities have praised her for talking so frankly about it all.

“I have had a lot of horrible things happen to me in my life and they have put me in good stead for this moment,” she said. “I have my sense of humor. I have my will to live and survive.”

™ & © 2023 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

CNN’s Nick Glass and Lianne Kolirin contributed to this report.

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