After doctors discovered three serious blockages in his coronary artery, the Home And Away star had a triple-bypass in early 2019. And while the surgery was considered a success, after he felt a “tickle” in his chest while out for a stroll, Ray underwent a second operation seven months later.
“For 40 years it was all a build-up of poor living and having too much fun,” he reveals.
Despite the invasive surgery, Ray refused to slow down and returned to work eight weeks later, much like Alf Stewart-his staunch Home And Away character.
I’m a fairly pragmatic sort of bloke, “he says,” I’m just getting on with it.
Ray now makes sure he has his steps up every day and has cut back on some of his vices, but he’s not going to let all the fun be ruined by a few health scares.
“Now, I drink a lot less beer, but occasionally I still have a little more than is considered healthy,” he admits.
“When you meet friends and have a bit of yarn and a little drink, do you know? I still enjoy having those nights sometimes.”
Ray cites his wife of 10 years, Gilly, who previously served as a nurse, as a significant factor in his rehabilitation, as well as a few lifestyle tweaks.
He says of his adoring girlfriend, “She was a life-saver.” “And she’s now holding me straight and narrow.”
But don’t hope any time soon to see him waving goodbye to Summer Bay.
As the surgeon told me, I have a completely reconditioned engine now and I should be right for another 100,000 miles!” “I’m very pleased with where work is at.