Matthew Perry says He almost Died When He Spent Weeks in a Coma, “I had a 2 Percent Chance to Live”

Friends actor Matthew Perry who played Chandler Bing in the famous Sitcom, is opening up about his drug addiction that nearly cost him his life.

The 53-year-old actor has written a memoir about his battle with drug addiction and drinking habits and how his life was turned upside down.

His memoir, ‘Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing,’ will be launched on November 1.

Ahead of the launch of his autobiography, Perry appeared in an interview with People Magazine and shed light on his life full of highs and lows.

“I wanted to share when I was safe from going into the dark side of everything again,” he said. “I had to wait until I was pretty safely sober — and away from the active disease of alcoholism and addiction — to write it all down. And the main thing was, I was pretty certain that it would help people.”

While acknowledging that he almost died at the age of 49, Matthew told People that due to alcoholism and excessive intake of drugs, he suffered from a gastrointestinal perforation and spent weeks in the hospital fighting for his life.

“My colon burst from opioid overuse, and I spent two weeks in a coma and five months in the hospital and had to use a colostomy bag for nine months,” he revealed.

“The doctors told my family that I had a 2 percent chance to live. 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.”

He said that his addiction had just begun when he landed the role of everyone’s favorite Chandler Bing on the show.

“I could handle it, kind of. But by the time I was 34, I was really entrenched in a lot of trouble,” he recalled. “But there were years that I was sober during that time. Season 9 was the year that I was sober the whole way through. And guess which season I got nominated for best actor? I was like, ‘That should tell me something.'”

The actor admitted that fans started worrying about his health when Chandler appeared in season 7 of Friends – he lost a lot of weight as he was taking 55 Vicodin every day.

“A lot of people asked me, what happened to you? Why are you losing so much weight? Are you ill?” He said.

“The truth is, I didn’t know how to stop,” he added. “If the police came over to my house and said, ‘If you drink tonight, we’re going to take you to jail,’ I’d start packing. I couldn’t stop because the disease and the addiction is progressive. So it gets worse and worse as you grow older.”

The actor further said that despite his health situation and bad state of mind, his co-stars were highly supportive and patient.

“It’s like penguins. Penguins, in nature, when one is sick, or when one is very injured, the other penguins surround it and prop it up. They walk around it until that penguin can walk on its own. That’s kind of what the cast did for me.”

Perry also said that he had been to rehab almost fifteen times and struggled a lot with addiction as he kept resorting back to drugs.

“I’m pretty healthy now. 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,” he laughed.

“It’s important, but if you lose your sobriety,” he continued. “It doesn’t mean you lose all that time and education. Your sober date changes, but that’s all that changes. You know everything you knew before, as long as you were able to fight your way back without dying, you learn a lot.”

Revealing that he has had fourteen surgeries on his stomach, Perry said,

“All I have to do is look down.”

“My therapist said, ‘The next time you think about taking Oxycontin, just think about having a colostomy bag for the rest of your life,’ And a little window opened and I crawled through it and I no longer want Oxycontin anymore.”

About his memoir, Perry said that his fans will be surprised to know how bad things got for him and how he almost ‘died.’

“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.”

The actor concluded his interview with People by saying that people who love Chandler Bing need to read his memoir, as he didn’t leave anything out and detailed his entire story despite it being harrowing and heartbreaking.

“What I’m most surprised with is my resilience. The way that I can bounce back from all of this torture and awfulness. Wanting to tell the story, even though it’s a little scary to tell all your secrets in a book, I didn’t leave anything out. Everything’s in there,” he said.

“It’s also a story that’s filled with hope,” he smiled. “Because here I am.”

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Source: People Magazine

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