The world almost lost Whoopi Goldberg after her terrifying battle with pneumonia, but ‘The View’ cohost is on the mend. She tells fans that her health is improving by the day, but slowly.
Whoopi Goldberg gave fans a much-needed update about her health following her dramatic pneumonia diagnosis in February, revealing that while she’s doing better, “It’s going to be awhile before i’m back to 100%.” The View cohost, 63, said in a new interview that she’s “very, very lucky” to be alive after contracting the potentially deadly lung infection, which sidelined her from the talk show for six weeks. She told People that she had been feeling rotten on and off for weeks before seeking medical treatment, believing that she had a simple cough and cold. It wasn’t until chatting about her symptoms with her longtime friend, Dr. Jorge E. Rodriguez, that she knew something was wrong. He immediately called her an ambulance after hearing her wheezing on the phone and going in and out of consciousness. “I knew the way the EMT looked at me that I was really sick,” Whoopi recalled. “All the color drained out of his face.”
Whoopi was admitted to the hospital with a 103 degree fever and had to have her lungs drained with a needle twice. “It really took me down, but I’m getting there,” Whoopi said, adding that she feels she’s 70% well, and is slowly working toward a full recovery by making her health her first priority. Since returning to The View on March 18, the EGOT winner does four shows a week instead of the full five. “I’ve cut down on a lot of the stuff that I would normally be doing and I have to rest. There’s no getting around it. In the morning I go and do the show, then afterward I have my other work, and be 3 o’clock, I have to sit down. I have to stop. It’s taking a little while, but I’m getting there.”
About 50,000 Americans die each year from pneumonia, and Whoopi nearly became one of them. “The doctor told me, ‘Listen, you’re not going anywhere tomorrow and you’re not going anywhere next week because you are really sick. You were this close to dying,” she recalled. “In my mind I wasn’t that sick. I hope that this is a cautionary tale for people. You have to take the time to take care of yourself.” She added that the harrowing experience gave her a new outlook on life. “I realize that life is pretty good. Thank God I’m still here. I wouldn’t have been able to finish my book, say things to my grandkids and my great-grandkids. And I’m also just lighter. Don’t get me wrong, people still make me mad, but I don’t get as angry anymore because it’s a waste of time to me now. I’m grateful to be alive.”