Robin Gibb talks exclusively to HELLO! about his brush with death

Bee Gee Robin Gibb has told HELLO! how he almost died from the same condition, a blocked intestine, that killed his twin brother Maurice.

Just ten weeks ago, he began suffering from painful stomach cramps, and it was his wife Dwina who felt that something was seriously wrong. “After what happened to Maurice I wasn’t taking any chances,” she told HELLO! “I had a feeling deep down that it was serious, that Robin’s life was in danger.” She called an ambulance and Robin, 60, was seen by doctors but then sent home. “I refused to leave it as I knew instinctively it was a matter of life or death,” said Dwina.

Within hours Robin was undergoing the same operation from which his twin Maurice never regained consciousness. “I’d never had surgery in my life,” said Robin. “What’s more, I was having the same operation from which my twin brother Maurice never came round, at the hospital where our younger brother Andy died five days after his 30th birthday.

“I spoke to my brother Barry and mum Barbara before the op. It could have been the last time I saw my family but I had no choice. Without the op to remove the blockage I knew I wouldn’t have survived anyway. There was no alternative, which made me strangely calm.”

Robin revealed that his twin’s life could have been saved if he had been seen earlier. Maurice was in hospital for 15 hours before seeing a specialist. “The stomach specialist who spoke to me later told me the problem was that he hadn’t been diagnosed or monitored,” he said. “We wouldn’t have gone down the route we did with me if it hadn’t been for what happened to Maurice.”

Dwina and Robin’s 25-year-marriage has survived its ups and downs, yet Robin says they are “ideally matched.” “We lead a Bohemian lifestyle that suits us,” he said. “It’s not a conventional existence with a nine-to-five routine. We eat when we’re hungry and give each other space.” Dwina says they are “soulmates”.

“Even our birthdays are on the same day, 22 December,” she says. “If we have an argument, we spar for a bit but are the best of friends a minute later. We never hold grudges or sulk. Holding a grudge destroys the person holding it.”