William Regal had a very rough go of things at the end of 2018, going into 2019.
Regal has battled many health issues and injuries through his life and career, but none were more serious than a heart problem where he was told that he had 24 hours to live.
Regal appeared on Talk Is Jericho, and opened up about his various health issues throughout his life, recalling a period where he was in the hospital and almost didn't make it.
"I went home two weeks before Christmas (2018). The last time my family was all together was 2018 for Christmas and I was in the hospital for eight weeks. I was given 24 hours to live. They were going to cut my leg off. This was January 4, 2019. I insisted on going home for Christmas. I had a hell of a year, 2018. Since 1998, I had pericarditis -- an inflammation of the sac around the heart -- it scars that sac. Your heart can beat, but that sac can lockdown. I might not have looked like it, but I trained as hard as I did and taking bumps, it kept that from locking down and going solid, the skin around your heart. I went to India, got really sick, and was out for a year. I had bouts on and off," he recalled.
During the interview, Regal would jump around regarding his career and injuries, but circled back to his hospital stay by the end of the interview.
Regal recalled attending PWG's Battle of Los Angeles 2018 tournament and then going to the hospital a couple of months later.
"November, they send me for a scan. My legs are swelling, they do a scan of my abdomen. Fortunately, for me, there is a cardiologist in the room and this lady saved my life. She went, 'Hang on a minute, there is something above that that doesn't look right.' They couldn't scan there, this is Friday, because I've already been injected, so they need to do another scan because of the fluid. I go back Monday for a scan I never had before. I went home, within an hour of me being in the house, my cardiologist called going, 'I'm sorry, I'm sorry,' 'Why?' 'We should have thought of this years ago. It doesn't pick up on a regular scan.' 'What?' 'You've probably got less than six months to live.' What happened was, the sac around my heart had completely calcified. It looks like a goose egg. It was completely constricted and had grown into a solid rock. They cut me open and he's tapping on this goose egg. Three hours later, you can see where he's peeled it all off and you can see a beating heart. If they didn't take it off, I would have had six months to go. It's called a pericardiectomy, it's very rare operation, only a few people can do it. Fortunately, WWE got me a doctor in Atlanta that did this. I was eight weeks in the hospital after that. This is November 23," Regal recalled.
Regal said he insisted on being home for Christmas because his son Bailey was home for the holidays.
He picked the story back up, still in the hospital, by saying, "For the first time in my life, I was like, 'I'm not going to make it, I'm going to die.' About four weeks in, fluid leaking out of my legs, I was swollen like the Michelin man. I had a drip in both arms, I couldn't move and cramping up. I insisted on going home. It was New Year's Day, I was screaming and was cramping from my eyelids to my toes. I fell out of bed and on the floor, my wife couldn't move me. Bailey, Regal's son, came in and my other son picked me up off the floor. They got an ambulance and got me back in the hospital. I thought I was going to die. January 4, I got sepsis in my leg. January 4, my wife gets a call, three in morning, 'Your husband has sepsis in his leg, we're going to cut his leg off. He has probably 24 hours to live if we don't.' This doctor who was looking after me, his wife is a doctor, she was on call, she overheard a conversation that there is a fellow who had a pericardiectomy, she heard this, called her husband at home, 'they're about to chop his leg off.' He called them and was like, 'Inject him with this, this, this, and this.' Somehow, that worked and saved my leg. I'm lying in a hospital bed after open heart surgery and two days before the NXT UK from Blackpool, where [WALTER/Gunther] debuted, and something in my brain went 'click' and I thought, 'I'm gonna be okay.'"
Regal said he spent the next two weeks trying to get out of the hospital, and eventually did. He said shortly after he was walking three miles and within two months, he was doing 500 squats.
Regal is currently signed to All Elite Wrestling where he is aligned with Bryan Danielson and Jon Moxley.
Recently, Regal noted that he's healthier than he's ever been after reports came out that he wasn't doing well.
If you use any of the quotes above, please credit the original source with a h/t and link back to Fightful for the transcription.