“Friends” star Matthew Perry came clean about the depths of his addiction struggles and his very close call with death, among several other eye-opening revelations in his upcoming memoir “Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing.”
The 53-year old played the role of Chandler Bing on the legendary TV series, soaring to incredible heights over the course of his career. But despite his career highs, he was facing personal lows and nearly dying after a two-week coma after using too many opioids, according to People. “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.”
— People (@people) October 19, 2022
Perry admitted to suffering from a gastrointestinal perforation and fighting to stay alive. He spent two weeks in a coma and a total of five months in a hospital, according to People. Perry said he even had to use a colostomy bag for nine months as part of his recovery process.
“The doctors told my family that I had a 2 percent chance to live,” Perry said to People.
“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.”
Perry recalls taking 55 Vicodin each day and says his weight dipped down to just 128 pounds.
“I didn’t know how to stop,” he said. (RELATED: Bradley Cooper Reveals The Depths Of His Struggle With Cocaine)
“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” Perry said to People.
Perry described how his colleagues on the set of “Friends” rallied around him in his time of need. “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,” he said, according to People.
Perry says he has had 14 surgeries on his stomach so far, and admits that he has a number of scars to prove it. “That’s a lot of reminders to stay sober,” Perry said. “All I have to do is look down.”
“I’m an extremely grateful guy. I’m grateful to be alive, that’s for sure. And that gives me the possibility to do anything.”