Actress Leslie Ash: My life is still not the same two decades on from infection

Men Behaving Badly star Leslie Ash has said that her life will “never ever be the same as it was” following an infection two decades ago.

The actress, 64, contracted methicillin-sensitive staphylococcus aureus (MSSA), similar to other bacterial infection MRSA, in hospital.

The bug can cause minor ailments such as swelling to serious bloodstream infections, which can be life-threatening.

Ash was asked on ITV’s Good Morning Britain (GMB) about her health issues following being in intensive care in 2004 after contracting MSSA.

She said: “I mean, it will never ever be the same as it was obviously. Yeah, it is. Twenty years, exactly and so it’s fine…. I think (I’m) really, really good, and really healthy.”

Leslie Ash (Ian West/PA)

Ash added that she has been “very lucky” after doctors told her she would probably not walk again when she was first diagnosed.

“They said I’d be in a wheelchair,” she also said. “My husband (footballer Lee Chapman) helped me with my rehab and getting me into the gym and really making sure that I stay fit.

“And you’ve got to keep your core strong and so many things you have to do mentally as well.”

Ash said that her contracting MSSA should “never have happened” but you “get on with it”.

It was reported in 2008 that she received a payout of £5 million from the NHS for catching the bug while in hospital.

Ash is set to star in black comedy play Artificially Yours at the Riverside Studios this month.

Ash said that it tells the story of couples who have access to a smart box, similar to Alexa, which can tell if someone is lying.

“So it’s just all about problems and relationships that we all know about,” she said.

Rates of MRSA and MSSA are monitored regularly with the latter seeing a slight rise during the pandemic.

Total rates of MRSA decreased sharply between 2007 and 2012 and have been on a downward trend in recent years, according to the UK Health Security Agency.