Actor Dean Winters, best known for his roles on Oz, 30 Rock, and the Allstate "Mayhem" commercials opened up to Page Six about the "constant pain" that he is in following an amputation he underwent 12 years ago. "I haven't taken a step since 2009 without being in pain," Winters told Page Six. "I've got neuropathy on, you know, on a whole different level where I can't feel my hands and my feet. But if I stepped on a pebble, it's like I go through the roof."
"It's a very weird dichotomy. It's like, it's very hard to figure out. Nothing you can do about it," he said about the constant discomfort. "I've been sucking it up because, you know, the alternative is not a place where I want to be." Winters explained that he got his now-Instantly recognizable gig as Mayhem in the Allstate Insurance commercials while he was recovering. "Allstate was relentless," he said. "It's crazy if you look in the Webster dictionary, the Old English definition of the word 'mayhem' is 'one with amputations.'"
Winters' health scare occurred in June of 2009 when his heart stopped during a desperate ambulance ride. "I had a rough ride in an ambulance. I went septic due to an illness that I had as a kid and it caught up with me," Winters told Us Weekly in 2019. "I was dead in the back of an ambulance, and the great doctors at Lenox Hill Hospital brought me back to life after around four-and-a-half minutes." He was revived by paramedics but required multiple operations and contracted gangrene, resulting in the amputation of two toes and half of a thumb.
Winters said that he did not see a white light as many other near-death experience survivors report. However, he did tell reporters that he "had no idea what happened" in those minutes between his death and his miraculous recovery. In fact, he did not find out for quite a while. "They don't tell you what happened until a couple of months later," he revealed. "They don't want to send you back into a mental trauma. It woke me up to a lot of things that were fuzzy."