Matthew Perry has opened up about nearly dying over his drug addiction, and secretly fighting for his life in hospital.
The 53-year-old shot to superstardom thanks to his time on Friends, but he was battling addiction issues for years behind the scenes.
The Chandler Bing actor previously spoke of ‘not remembering’ much of his time on the hugely successful comedy as he was so ‘out of it’ on set.
In the pages of his new memoir, Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing, he reflected on some of the lowest moments of his life in stunning honesty.
Speaking about his book in a new interview, Matthew explained that he nearly died just a few years ago, and spent two weeks in a coma.
In 2018, it was reported that he suffered a gastrointestinal perforation, but he has now confirmed that he was hospitalized after his colon burst from opioid misuse, and his chances of survival were alarmingly slim.
‘The doctors told my family that I had a 2 percent chance to live,’ the 17 Again star told People Magazine. ‘I was put on a thing called an ECMO machine, which does all the breathing for your heart and your lungs. And that’s called a Hail Mary. No one survives that.’
Thankfully, he was able to and spent five months in hospital and used a colostomy bag for nine months.
Reflecting on why he has stayed sober, he credited his therapist for changing his way of thinking.
‘My therapist said, “The next time you think about taking Oxycontin, just think about having a colostomy bag for the rest of your life”,’ he told the publication. ‘And a little window opened and I crawled through it and I no longer want Oxycontin anymore.’
Matthew has faced many relapses over the years – he has been to rehab 15 times and undergone 14 surgeries on his stomach, but is confident in his health now.
‘I’m pretty healthy now,’ he insisted. ‘I’ve got to not go to the gym much more, because I don’t want to only be able to play superheroes. But no, I’m a pretty healthy guy right now.’
It is because of this progress that he felt ‘safe’ enough to share his story with the world, and hopes that his experience can help others in similar situations with overcoming their own issues.
‘I think they’ll be surprised at how bad it got at certain times and how close to dying I came,’ he added. ‘I say in the book that if I did die, it would shock people, but it wouldn’t surprise anybody. And that’s a very scary thing to be living with.
‘So my hope is that people will relate to it, and know that this disease attacks everybody. It doesn’t matter if you’re successful or not successful, the disease doesn’t care.’