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Sarah Silverman ‘insanely lucky to be alive’ after health scare that put her in intensive care for a week

Sarah Silverman
Sarah Silverman in Hollywood at the 88th Academy Awards in February 2016.
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Sarah Silverman says she’s “insanely lucky to be alive” after a “freak” occurrence of a condition that blocks air flow to the lungs.

“Don't even know why I went to the doctor, it was just a sore throat. But I had a freak case of epiglottitis,” the comic wrote on Facebook, explaining that she’d just come off five days in the intensive care unit at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

In this condition, the epiglottis – the body feature that opens the airway to the lungs when a person breathes and closes it when they swallow – swells and blocks the airway entirely.

“There's something that happens when three people you're so close to die within a year and then YOU almost die but don't. (That was me. I'm the one that didn't die.) It's a strange dichotomy between, "Why me?" and the other, "Why me?,” wrote Silverman, 45.

Silverman said that because her blood pressure was low, she couldn’t be put “fully to sleep” during recovery, and kept asking friends if she’d been in an accident.

“When I woke up 5 days later I didn't remember anything. I thanked everyone at the ICU for my life, went home, and then slowly as the opiates faded away, remembered the trauma of the surgery & spent the first two days home kind of free-falling from the meds / lack of meds and the paralyzing realization that nothing matters. Luckily that was followed by the motivating revelation that nothing matters.”

In addition to the nurses, techs and orderlies, those on her thank-you list included Dr. Robert Huizenga, who’s known as Charlie Sheen’s physician, and the doctor who works with patients on “The Biggest Loser.”

“I'm so moved by my real-life hero, Michael,” Silverman said, referring to her partner Michael Sheen, “and amazing Sissies (blood & otherwise) & friendos, who all coordinated so that there wasn't a moment I was alone.

“It makes me cry. Which hurts my throat. So stop.”

Follow Christie D’Zurilla on Twitter @theCDZ.

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