American actor, Tyler James Williams has revealed that he nearly died five years ago from complications related to previously undiagnosed Crohn’s disease.
The ”Everybody Hates Chris’ actor, 30, recalled the traumatic ordeal to Men’s Health.
In the interview, he disclosed how he underwent emergency surgery to remove part of his lower intestine and months spent living on intravenous foods with an ostomy bag.
At his weakest, the star weighed just 105 pounds and could barely stand on his own.
Williams’ health concerns came to a head after ‘pushing [his] body to the limit’ through intense diet and exercise while juggling a hectic shooting schedule.
After seeing a gastroenterologist at NYU Langone, they found that Williams had ‘less than a one-centimeter gap in his terminal ileum [the narrowest portion of the gut]’ due to his bowels being highly inflamed and clogged with scar tissue.
He classified it as a massive flare-up from Crohn’s disease, which took him by surprise as he’d never been previously diagnosed with the chronic condition.
Crohn’s disease is ‘a chronic disease that causes inflammation in your digestive tract,’ according to MedlinePlus.
There is also a genetic component that was identified in Williams’ family, but, at the time, the star was the only member that’s shown symptoms.
With a diagnosis in hand, Williams was rushed into surgery to have six inches of his lower intestine removed. But with so much damage to his intestines, they were unable to heal and eventually perforated.
This led to Williams going septic which resulted in another emergency surgery. For months, the actor had to have an ostomy bag and relied on intravenous foods to keep him nourished.
Williams said it was the ‘vibrating’ sensation throughout his body while septic that made him fear for his life.
‘The last thought I had was Holy s**t, this could be it. If this is it, I’m not happy. I worked a lot. I did a lot of things,’ recalled.’I didn’t enjoy any of this. This can’t be it.’
Five years later, Williams is the picture of health at a muscular 145 pounds. He’s given up alcohol, coffee, and red meat in order to prevent flare-ups.
Along with a healthy diet, Williams’ doctor recommended another means of keeping inflammation down and stimulating appetite.
‘The doctor was like, “Here’s something that’ll keep your system from inflaming. It’ll keep your mind right, and it’ll make you eat.” And I was like, “What is this wonderful drug that we’re talking about?” And he wrote me a weed prescription,’ he explained to the outlet.
Instead of overworking himself at the gym, Williams now relies on steady fitness that includes circuit training among other effective means. Meditation has also been incorporated into Williams’ daily routine.
The life-threatening experience led to Williams reevaluating his career and deciding to focus on ‘purpose-driven’ roles in the future.
‘When I woke up and eventually got back to [being] myself, it was like, “what would make it not suck?”‘ said Williams.