Wife’s public message to The Pogues fans amid rocker Shane McGowan’s battle with rare brain condition

The wife of legendary singer Shane MacGowan has thanked fans for their support amid his ongoing health battle. 

Last December, The Pogues frontman, 65, was diagnosed with viral encephalitis, a rare and potentially life-threatening condition that causes the brain to swell following a virus.

Alongside an image shared to X, formerly Twitter, of McGowan attached to a breathing apparatus, his wife Victoria Mary Clarke thanked his former bandmates Peter Richard Spider Stacy and Terry Woods for visiting MacGowan.

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The Pogues lead singer Shane MacGowanShane MacGowan

“I just wanted to say a massive thanks to everyone who has been messaging me and ⁦@ShaneMacGowan⁩ and thank you 🙏 ⁦@spiderstacy⁩ and Terry Woods for coming to visit him ❤️,” Clarke wrote.

“Love and prayers for everyone who is struggling right now ❤️hang in there!”

After several months battling the disease at home, it’s understood McGowan was admitted to hospital in June, 2023 and has remained in inpatient care since.

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Clarke has kept fans updated on his condition, sharing the occasional post via social media.

On November 12, she took to Instagram to share a heartbreaking message about her fears surrounding her husband’s condition. 

“Love ❤️ is the most beautiful and powerful thing that we can experience as humans but love can also feel painful especially if you are afraid of losing a person or anything else that you love 💗,” she wrote.

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Shane MacGowan and wife

“The really really big challenge that we all face is to go beyond what our minds think are the limits of love and what love really is… sometimes when you love ❤️ very deeply you will find yourself facing terrifying fears of loss that can feel so big and devastating that you don’t know how you can survive them and you can’t imagine life without this person that you love,” she continued.

“You might alternate between terror and a sense of peace or a feeling of appreciation for what you have in the moment together or grace or gratitude for the love and support that is offered to help you by other people. 

“Fear is an unknown place and this is what makes it so frightening, we make up stories about what is beyond the fear 😧 and they are not happy stories.”

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The Pogues singer Shane MacGowan, 64, rushed to hospital for infection.

“But we can choose to stay present with everything that unfolds and to feel as much as possible in every moment and we can be surprised that there are more moments of beauty and grace and even joy 🤩 than we ever imagined,” Clarke wrote.

“Stay tuned in to love ❤️,” she said. “No matter what is happening in your world and keep inviting all of your angels and guides to support you and know that love ❤️ is always the best choice!”