Montel Williams is opening up for the first time about the details surrounding his hospitalization earlier this year.
Williams tells The Blast he ended up spending 21 days in the hospital — nine of those days in ICU — after he suffered a medical emergency following a workout in New York City.
"I had what they call a hemorrhagic stroke," Williams says.
According to the National Stroke Association, only 15 percent of all strokes are categorized as hemorrhagic but they are responsible for about 40 percent of all stroke deaths.
Williams said he "almost died" as a result, adding, "I'm lucky to be alive."
On May 30, Williams was at a hotel in New York City when he went down to the gym for a workout. He was doing dumbbell squats when he heard a "loud pop" on his left side.
"I looked up and everything turned into caleidoscope," Williams tells The Blast. "I knew something was majorly wrong, so I forced myself to get to my room on the 14th floor and called my wife. I told her that I may be having a stroke, so please call 911. She did the rest."
Luckily for Montel, because his wife passed along the right information, a special emergency vehicle for stroke victims — which just happened to be nearby — was sent to the scene.
He says they did a CAT scan right on the street in front of the hotel and because they were able to determine which type of stroke he had suffered, they were able to administer the proper treatment once he got to the hospital. If that had not happened, he might have died before he even got there.
"I give all the credit to my wife," Montel Williams says. "She laid on the bed with me for all 21 days, sleeping at the hospital and staying there 18 hours a day."
He adds, "The only thing I remember for the first five days of the ICU is her saying. 'I love you.'"
Montel says he has nearly fully recovered and while he is on some medication, he is slowly being weaned off of it. He says he's eating well and feeling great.
He says the incident was "a wake-up call to go 100 percent, instead of the 300 percent I was working at."
Montel is currently working on his new television show "Military Makeover" where he will be partnering with a construction and design team to makeover homes of people serving in the military. He hopes to offers "hope and a helping hand here on the home front to members of our military and their loved ones."