First Dates bartender Merlin Griffiths has updated fans and followers following life-saving surgery to have a tumor removed. In September last year the Channel Four star announced he had been diagnosed with bowel cancer.
The friendly face of the Manchester-based dating show who helps the aspiring couples to break the ice as they arrive at The Refinery retaurant at Spinningfields has been keeping fans informed and shared last week that it was time for his tumor to be removed. “Ready as I’ll ever be. rumor removal time,” he posted on Instagram with a photo of himself in his hospital bed.
Hours later the 46-year-old thanked the NHS for their life-saving work with a selfie, a picture of a machine used for his surgery. “Thank you #NHS for literally saving my life,’ he tweeted on Friday. And over on Instagram he wrote: “2am. Tubes outta everywhere. Aches and pains. But no tumour!”
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On Monday afternoon he posted another hospital bed selfie as he gave a cheery thumbs up to camera and a smile. “Almost there. Another day and then off home,” he captioned the photo. He added the hash tags “#bowelcancer” and “#stoma” as well as a tongue-in-cheek “#alive.”
Today (Wednesday April 20) Merlin, who has been a bartender and mixologist for more than 20 years, shared another smiling photo of himself enjoying the outdoors as he praised his amazing ‘robotic’ surgery. “And breathe. 6 days, start to finish. Now for real #cancer recovery,” he wrote.
“I’ve had open laparotomies before and the recovery was six weeks in hospital before robotic surgery!! Amazing,” he said. And he added: “#nhs #davincisurgicalsystem #bowelcancerawarenessmonth #stoma.”
Merlin was diagnosed just six weeks ago after he started getting pain in June. In an interview with the Mirror the dad vowed: “I won’t let it get the better of me.” Speaking of the moment he explained the diagnosis to his seven-year-old daughter Alix he recalled: “I said ‘dad’s got cancer’. She said ‘Is that bad, dad?’ I said, ‘Yes, it’s very serious but I think it should be OK. Modern medicine’s great and if anything changes I’ll let you know.'”
He at first thought the pain he was experiencing was caused by scar tissue in his stomach from a car accident when he was 20. But doctors found a 4.5cm stage three tumor which he describes as ‘looking like an alien.’
First Dates maître d’ Fred Sirieix told him. “Best wishes and lots of love Merlin.” And messages came pouring in from well-wishers.
@ITGirlWorcs told him: “You look amazing young man. Remember this feeling, there is nothing else quite like it and everything looks so much better than it did before. Take it easy and be kind to yourself, you deserve it x”
Mark Cooper told him: “Here’s hoping you heal quickly and have a speedy recovery.” And @Loopyloopla68 said: “Aww merlin so pleased for you and lovely to see your face xxx keep positive x you’ve got this.”