Arnold Schwarzenegger says that one of his surgeries nearly killed him.
The 76-year-old action icon discussed his third open-heart surgery in a new YouTube video (below) and says the procedure’s unexpected problems had him “freaking out.”
More from The Hollywood Reporter
The valve replacement surgery was right before he filmed 2019’s Terminator: Dark Fate, and the former California governor described waking up in the hospital and doctors explaining to him that the procedure had caused unexpected internal bleeding.
“I woke up and all of a sudden the doctors were in front of me saying, ‘I’m so sorry but it was unlike what we planned,'” Schwarzenegger said. “[They said] we made a mistake and poked through the heart wall and had to open me up very quickly and to save [my] life. I was really freaking out.”
Schwarzenegger said the mishap resulted in a difficult recovery. The star of Netflix’s FUBAR shared some humbling footage of himself walking down a hospital hallway, first with a walker, and then on his own holding a railing.
“The bottom line is, you cannot roll the clock back,” he said. “It was a disaster. I was in the middle of a disaster. So now how do I get out of it? You have to shift gears. You collect yourself, shift gears and say, ‘OK, what I need to do now is I got to get out of this hospital.'”
Schwarzenegger described first walking 10 steps and then progressing from there. “I looked like an idiot waddling around the hallway, but the bottom line was the doctor said you have to exercise your lungs because if you get pneumonia you can die,” he said. “We did it, because I had a positive attitude … [Three months later] I started shooting Terminator 6.”
The actor has increasingly embraced his role as a wellness influencer, and this year launched a popular health and fitness newsletter.
Earlier this year, Schwarzenegger opened up to The Hollywood Reporter about his career and personal life, during which he talked about his health and desire to live forever.
“I still work out every day, I ride my bike every day, and I make movies — show business is another part of my life,” he said. “I add in my life, I never subtract. I don’t need money. I get money because you have to have a certain value and the agents negotiate. But I have a great time doing it. I love everything that I do. There’s no retiring. I’m still on this side of the grass, so I’m happy. My plan is to live forever — and so far, so good!”
Best of The Hollywood Reporter