Montel Williams Breaks Silence About Stroke, Hospitalization

Talk show host Montel Williams opened up about his recent stroke, which put him in a hospital for 21 days earlier this year.

Williams, 62, told The Blast Wednesday that he was rushed to the hospital after he suffered a medical emergency after a workout in New York City. Williams said it was a "hemorrhagic stroke," which is responsible for 40 percent of all deaths linked to strokes, according to the National Stroke Association.

Williams said he "almost died" and is "lucky to be alive."

The stroke happened on May 30 when he was working out at a New York City hotel. He was doing dumbbell squats when he heard a "loud pop" on his left side.

“I looked up and everything turned into kaleidoscope,” Williams told 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.”

Williams' wife, Tara Fowler, passed on enough information that paramedics sent a special vehicle for stroke victims to pick him up. Before they even left the scene, EMTs performed a CAT scan in front of the hotel. They diagnosed him on the scene and got him the help he needed before he even got to the hospital.

“I give all the credit to my wife. She laid on the bed with me for all 21 days, sleeping at the hospital and staying there 18 hours a day," Williams said. “The only thing I remember for the first five days of the ICU is her saying. ‘I love you.'”

Williams later told Good Morning America Thursday morning that his fight to survive was not over once he got checked into the hospital. He was in the intensive care unit for six days, and could not move.

"I could hear [my wife] say, ‘I love you,’ before I went to sleep and, ‘I love you,’ when I woke up," Williams told GMA. "That’s what kept me going."

After leaving the hospital, Williams spent six weeks at a stroke rehabilitation center in Jackson, Tennessee.

"I pushed myself [in physical therapy], again, knowing what I put in is what I’m going to get out. That’s what I want to tell people," Williams told GMA. "I could be now left with a whole bunch of residual symptoms that had I not worked as hard as I did I would not have overcome."

Williams, who also has multiple sclerosis and is a veteran, has already gone back to work. He is hosting Lifetime's Military Makeover, which was previously hosted by the late R. Lee Ermey.

The Emmy-winning TV personality said he came forward about his stroke to raise awareness of how serious it is.


"We don’t talk about stroke in this country because when it happens, everyone is kind of embarrassed, they don’t want to say anything about it," he said.

Photo credit: ABC/Paula Lobo