Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Heart Surgery Saga

“I woke up all of a sudden and the doctors were sitting in front of me saying, ‘We’re so sorry,'” the actor said in a recent video

Through a YouTube video titled Starting Fresh: Coming Back from Heart Surgery, Arnold Schwarzenegger shared several details about the open heart surgery he underwent in 2018, which ended in a complete disaster.

Arnold had entered the operating room at the time to replace a pulmonary valve that had already been changed in 1997 due to a congenital problem. This had given some peace of mind to the Terminator star, who underwent the surgery just a few months before the sixth installment began filming. However, when he awoke from surgery, doctors gave him news that chilled his blood.

“I woke up suddenly and the doctors were sitting in front of me saying, ‘We’re so sorry, but unlike what we had planned, which was a non-invasive surgery – just going through the heart and replacing the valve – we made a mistake and went through the wall of the heart, so we had to cause internal bleeding and open you up very quickly… to save your life,'” Arnold narrates in the video.

Immediately, the actor understood that he was in a disastrous situation, but thanks to the discipline that always characterized him, he managed to get himself mentally prepared to recover and leave the hospital as soon as possible.

“The bottom line is that you can’t turn back the clock. It’s a disaster. I was in the middle of a disaster. How do I get out of it now? You have to shift gears. Pick yourself up, shift gears and say, ‘Okay, what I have to do now is get out of this hospital,'” the 75-year-old actor explained.

So it was that the recovery process happened gradually. Arnold shared that he began by getting out of bed on his own, which at first was quite an accomplishment. Later, he took a few steps around the hospital room and was soon walking around the room. The actor showed footage of his recovery in the hospital using a treadmill equipped with oxygen tanks. Schwarzenegger indicates that he felt “like an idiot” walking around the hospital, but it was necessary to exercise his lungs and avoid getting sick.

“I looked like an idiot walking the halls, but the important thing was to get me going because the doctors said you had to exercise your lungs, because if you catch pneumonia you can die,” Arnold says.

The former bodybuilder did not manage the feat of recovering from this disastrous surgery in which a wall of his heart was punctured on his own. During much of the process he received help from his friends, who went to the hospital to support him as if he were preparing for a bodybuilding competition, but this time, he exchanged the weights for small steps that his team had to count in order to have an exact record of how he was improving.

It was thanks to this support and a “positive attitude” that Arnold managed to recover in a period of three months, just in time to shoot the scenes of Terminator: Undiscovered Destiny. Truly, the actor was in a race against time, but according to his words, he did not let despair overcome him, and despite having everything against him, he managed to overcome and shoot the movie as planned.

“I wanted to start with exercise, get out of the hospital as soon as possible and then get back to training. Because three months later I started Terminator 6. So I had to be in shape. I had to be able to move and run, lift things, do the fight scenes. And we made it because I had a positive attitude, I knew exactly how I was going to make it, I had the support system – because none of this we can do alone – and when I started shooting Terminator 6 it was all back together again,” said the actor about this experience that brought him to the brink of death.

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