Pat Sajak Opens up About Near-Death Experience ‘I Was in the Fetal Position’

It’s been a rough couple of weeks for Wheel of Fortune co-host, Pat Sajak. After suffering through intense pain from a blocked intestine, he was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery. The surgery left him unable to host the show and his long-time work partner, Vanna White, took over. Now, Sajak is speaking out about the scary and life-threatening experience for the first time.

Pat Sajak of Wheel of Fortune
Pat Sajak | Photo by Mike Pont/Getty Images

Pat Sajak experienced intense pain after a morning walk with his daughter

On December 20, 2019, Sajak appeared on Good Morning America to openly talk about the experience and how he’s feeling now. He confessed that he was taking his morning walk with his daughter and then he headed home to get ready to go film Wheel of Fortune. But, before he could make his way to set, he starting feeling intense pain. “And suddenly I had this horrific pain in my stomach. And obviously didn’t know what it [was], but within two and a half hours, I was in surgery. I mean it was that quick and that intense…You couldn’t do anything. I was in the fetal position, lying on the bed,” Sajak recounted.

Sajak got candid in an interview

The Wheel of Fortune host continued on to share that he received lots of medications for the pain, which yielded very strange results. “So they try to give you various drugs for the pain. And none of it — none — was working. And then they gave me something, I couldn’t even tell you the name of it, but suddenly, I wasn’t thinking about the pain. I just had these beautiful pastels and lovely faces coming out of it,” Sajak confessed.

The drugs were so strong, in fact, that Sajak actually believed he had died.”I remember thinking, not in a morbid way, ‘I think this must be death. This must be what death is like,'” the 73-year-old confessed. Fortunately for his family and Wheel of Fortune fans, it was just the drugs that made him feel a little loopy.” As it turned out, I was just high,” Sajak said, utilizing his trademark humor. He also confessed that when he thought he was dead, his only sorrow was for the family and loved ones who he left behind.

What cause Sajak to be ill

Luckily, Sajak is in a much healthier place these days. But, what caused the scary situation in the first place? The TV personality admitted that his doctors weren’t able to determine the cause. “They’re kinda at a loss to know exactly why it happened, but there’s no after effect. There’s no underlying medical issue. I don’t have to change anything about my life, I’m as good or bad as new, and that’s great. I still have my wits about me. They didn’t remove that, so I’ll be selling vowels for a long time,” Sajak nodded to his job on Wheel of Fortune.

The 73-year-old speaks about his return to Wheel of Fortune

Sajak has already returned to filming Wheel of Fortune, so fans can expect to see him on upcoming episodes sooner rather than later. “I’ve actually felt ridiculously good for several weeks. I’ve been back in the studio actually, doing shows. Even spinning the wheel and, you know, nothing has popped. So I think it’s OK,” he said earnestly. We’re sure fans will be thrilled to see him back and better than ever.