The doctor’s who saved Whoopi Goldberg’s life visited The View Monday to explain just how close we almost came to losing the legend to a grave case of pneumonia. While sitting with Goldberg and her co-hosts, they revealed that she had a 1 in 3 chance of dying from the lung infection.
Her primary care physician, Dr. Jorge Rodriguez, reported that he couldn’t even make out Goldberg’s words when she initially contacted him and that the EGOT winner was “gasping for air” before she arrived to the hospital. Dr. Rodriguez, who called her condition an “all hands on deck” situation, said he could “barely understand what she was saying” because her teeth were chattering from trembling.
Given her extremely high fever, shortness of breath, elevated heart rate and decreased oxygen levels, Dr. Greenberg said that she had a 1 in 3 chance of dying.
Dr. Rodriguez was accompanied by her pulmonologist Martin Greenberg, who helped tell the story of the traumatic experience.
Goldberg said that she had felt “sick for a while” prior to discovering she was suffering from pneumonia. In fact, when she initially contacted Dr. Rodriguez, she told him she could not walk on her own and just wanted to go to sleep.
Dr. Rodriguez said he was careful not to alarm Goldberg on the phone despite being legitimately concerned for her life. He recalled that he “tried not to sound scared” despite the fact that he “was afraid she wasn’t going to wake up.”
“Is she really now just tire or is she going to become unconscious and this is it,” he said he asked himself. “I wanted her talking [on the phone]. I was telling her bad jokes. I am telling Whoopi Goldberg jokes—that’s how serious it was.”
Goldberg addressed fans who believed that her absence from The View was actually due to her being tapped to host the Oscars.
“I was supposed to present,” Goldberg explained. “What was really happening was, suddenly I couldn’t breathe for the first time.”
She urged viewers to listen to their bodies and take action at the first sign that something is off.
“Inactivity, not doing anything, not checking, will kill you,” she emphasized. “So get your ego together and say, ‘Yeah, I’m going to the doctor because I don’t feel good.’ It’s OK to go to the doctor because you don’t feel good.”
Although Goldberg said Monday that she’s no longer doing “half of the stuff” she was before being hospitalized, she revealed that she feels better now that she has “slowed it down.”