George Michael choked back tears on Friday (23Dec11) as he told how he cheated death after contracting pneumonia on tour.
The former Wham! star sparked fears for his health after falling ill in Austria in November (11) and he axed the remaining dates on his trek to receive emergency treatment at a hospital in Vienna.
He was released from the facility on Thursday (22Dec11) and travelled back to the U.K. to spend Christmas at his London home - and in an emotional statement after arriving in the country, he revealed he had been close to death during his time in hospital.
Sounding breathless and close to tears, Michael told reporters outside his home, "Merry Christmas everyone. I feel amazing. I mean, I am very weak but I feel amazing. I got streptococco-something. It's a form of pneumonia and they spent three weeks keeping me alive, basically.
"It was basically by far the worst month of my life, but I'm incredibly, incredibly fortunate to be here and incredibly fortunate to have picked up this bug where I did, because apparently the hospital in Austria where they rushed me to was absolutely the best place in the world I could have been to deal with pneumonia. So I have to believe that somebody thinks I've still got some work to do here."
Asked what had kept him going during his ordeal, he replied, "My family. The thought of all the people I still have to play to. The fact that I have been so lucky and the fact that I still have plenty to live for. I have an amazing, amazing life. If I wasn't spiritual enough before the last four-to-five weeks then I certainly am now.
"I'd say (it was) touch-and-go for a couple of weeks. I played it down. I didn't want to worry my fans too much, and I'm really sorry that I couldn't contact them before now, but I was in no state to."
Michael guaranteed fans he will re-schedule all the dates he axed, and he's also planning to arrange an extra gig for "all the doctors in Austria who saved my life".
He added, "I really, really, really, really, from the bottom of my heart, thank everybody who sent me messages and everybody in that IC (intensive care) unit that made sure that I am still here today. I really can't say any more because I'm trying to get over the tracheotomy... I'm a new man."