Remember back in June when I told you Montel Williams had been rushed to the hospital after “overdoing it” at the gym?
Turns out the former talk show host had suffered a life-threatening cerebellar hemorrhagic stroke and spent 21 days in an intensive care unit!
In an exclusive interview with People, Montel detailed the moment he knew he had suffered a stroke.
But while holding his breath and coming up from weighted squats, his thirteenth of a rep of 30, Williams heard what he thought was a loud noise coming from behind him. “I knew there was nobody there and so I looked to my left,” he recalls. “And as my eyes came back around, the whole room started to kaleidoscope and I got hit with the wave of tired.”
“I threw the weight down and said to myself, ‘You just had a stroke.’ ”
Thanks to an episode of “Dr. Oz,” Montel knew exactly what to do!
“I said, ‘I’m not dying in this gym alone,’ ” Williams recalls. “I wanted to lay down to rest but I kept saying, ‘You can’t lay down’ because I remembered that’s what people die from.”
After suffering the stroke, Montel miraculously made it from the gym, to the elevator and up to the 14th floor where he told his wife Tara to call for help.
“Call the ambulance and tell them I just had a stroke. Tell them your husband had a stroke,” he said.
Doctors closely monitored the bleeding on Montel’s brain.
“I could barely talk. I couldn’t sit up. I couldn’t stand. I was almost paralyzed, it was terrifying,” Williams says. “But I remember telling myself, ‘You’re not dying. You’re not quitting. You’re going to fight this. You’re going to get this back.’”
Four months later, Montel has made remarkable strides as he continues his physical therapy.
“I’m way ahead of the rehab game right now,” he says. “My physical therapist, Paul Reilly, asked early on, ‘What do you want to get out of this?’ And I said, ‘I’d love to snowboard again this year.’ So we set that goal and we’re almost there. I really need another month before I’m beyond that acute phase of having a stroke. But I made it back. I got it back. And I probably will snowboard in January.”
Montel Williams fully understands the gravity of what he experienced and he is feeling so blessed to be alive.
“I’m very lucky,” Williams says. “When it happened, I didn’t realize the veracity of what this was. When you start thinking about it those statistics? That’s harsh reality. … I’m so blessed to be alive and I’m not taking it for granted.”
God is good. Sending up prayers for Montel to make a full recovery.
Read more at People.