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Tears as Blaine leaves London box

Blaine was immediately attended to by paramedics before he was taken to a private hospital.

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Illusionist David Blaine has completed 44 days suspended in a box without food. It was ...
A heroic act of strength
A stupid publicity stunt
David Blaine

LONDON, England (CNN) -- Illusionist David Blaine is in a hospital after ending his 44 days suspended in a box over the River Thames in London with only water for sustenance.

Thousands of fans cheered the 30-year-old American who burst into tears as he emerged from the box, saying: "I love you all forever."

Blaine smiled as his transparent box was lowered to the riverbank by Tower Bridge on Sunday night.

"This has been one of the most important experiences of my life," he said.

"I have learned more in that little box than I have learned in years. I have learned how important it is to have a sense of humor and laugh at everything because nothing makes any sense anyway.

"I have learned how strong we all are as human beings.

"But most importantly I have learned to appreciate the simple things in life -- a smile from a stranger or a loved one, the sunrise and the sunset, everything that God has given us, I love you all so much."

The stunt has captivated Londoners, with huge crowds gathering every day at Tower Bridge.

Some threw eggs and golf balls at Blaine, others held barbecues underneath his box and one man was fined after trying to sabotage his water supply.

Others bared their breasts and buttocks at him while some banged drums to keep him awake at night.

But in the final week taunts were largely replaced by encouraging shouts and handwritten signs stuck along the fence around the riverside enclosure.

Skeptics suggested he was being given more than water and may even have been getting nutrition from a coating on his box.

But Blaine's team said the stunt was genuine.

He is now having hospital tests and will be put on a strict program to regain his strength, starting with fluids.

U.S. magician and illusionist David Blaine emerges from his box.

The magician has experienced an irregular heartbeat, caused by a lack of potassium and by thinning of the heart's walls, according to a statement on his Web site.

Earlier this week Blaine told CNN he would never attempt such a stunt again. (Full story)

This is his first stunt outside the United States.

In May 2002, he stood on a 24-meter high flagpole in New York for 35 hours without a safety net.

In November 2000, Blaine encased himself in a six-ton block of ice in New York City's Times Square for 58 hours.

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