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Taylor undergoes heart surgery

Former England batsman fitted with defibrillator after being diagnosed with a serious heart condition in April

Former England batsman James Taylor has had an operation to fit a defibrillator, as part of his treatment for the heart condition that forced him into a shock retirement in April.

Taylor, 26, was forced to call an immediate end to his career following the discovery of a rare and serious heart condition Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy (ARVC).

The former batsman took to Twitter after his surgery, writing "At the bottom of a very steep hill, I can't wait to see the view from the top!"

The condition means Taylor, who had initially worn an external defibrillator following his diagnosis, can no longer undergo vigorous exercise.

Taylor had been expecting to play for Nottinghamshire in a mid-April County Championship warm-up fixture against Cambridge University. But he was rushed to hospital after feeling tightness in his chest following a warm-up session with Notts.

Specialist scans then revealed the 26-year-old's ARVC - a rare but very serious heart condition.

ARVC is a genetic disease and can cause sudden cardiac death. It is not curable but can be controlled with medicine or the use of a pacemaker.

Taylor played seven Tests for England // Getty

"I had my usual morning nap, and then did the warm-up," he said in an interview with BBC Radio.

"Towards the back end of the warm-up that's when my chest started getting tight. Apart from being tight it was beating at a million miles an hour. We were doing just a couple of routine catches and throws.

"My heart was going wild at a funny rhythm. It was probably only about four degrees, really cold, and I got inside. Sweat from me is hitting the ground hard. So I knew I wasn't right.

"And that's when I thought I was going to die.

"(Medical staff) did save my life and that's a fact. Nobody really appreciates what they do in the NHS (National Health Service).

WATCH: Taylor hits 82 in WACA ODI v India

"They constantly get slated and almost bagged in the press. Until you've had an experience where your life can be taken away from you, you don't realise what they actually do.

"And the way they looked after me and catered for me at my time of need when I was going to die was unbelievable. And I owe so much to them and I will continue to support them in any way I can."

He said one of the biggest shocks came when he was told the majority of ARVC cases are only found during a post-mortem, meaning most people never know they have the condition. 

"I almost stopped crying at that point and felt more lucky that I'm in a position to tell this story now," he said.

It was in hospital that Taylor's retirement was announced and he said the outpouring of emotion from friends and the general public was overwhelming.

WATCH: Taylor a star close fielder

"I occasionally lay in bed - like I'm sure a few people have done - and wondered what it would be like if I died. Who would turn up to my funeral? And what would people say?

"And the outpouring of emotion to me was like I'd died. It was quite dramatic in that sense, but it was amazing.

"Once the release had been made to the press and the messages started flooding in, it took my attention away from my career and me not being able to do the thing that I loved ever again."

Taylor played the first of his seven Tests against South Africa in 2012 and was part of the England team that beat the Proteas in South Africa last year.

The diminutive middle-order batsman also played 27 one-day internationals and was captain for England’s trip to Ireland last May.

Meg Lanning Steve Smith