73-year-old television icon Pat Sajak is setting the record straight about why he missed a full month of recording Wheel of Fortune after rumors of a “mental breakdown.”
Host Pat Sajak is in high spirits after his return to Wheel of Fortune. Thanks to tabloid The Globe, however, he’s having to defend his mental state after his hiatus from the show.
After returning to Fortune from a month’s hiatus, The Globe began stirring up rumors of Sajak becoming unruly on set. Moreover, their “sources” claimed the host had been “testy” and “having ugly outbursts.”
To make matters worse, The Globe pinned this rumored behavior on a “mental breakdown,” saying Sajak was exhausted of his hosting duties after his 40-years of near-spotless rapport on Fortune.
In reality, Pat Sajak underwent emergency surgery after suffering an intestinal blockage. While tabloids have been conjuring rumors over his mental state, Sajak has been recovering from a near-death experience and recovering both physically and mentally.
Pat Sajak Opens Up About Life or Death Surgery
Now, Sajak has opened up to ABC’s Good Morning America to lend clarity. And the man himself, chipper as ever, says he “still has his wits” about him.
Describing the events that led to his emergency surgery, however, brings out a different side of Sajak. While on a daily walk with his daughter early in the morning, the host felt “excruciating” pain that brought him to his knees. Aware something was dreadfully wrong, the Sajaks headed for the hospital.
“My blood pressure had fallen dramatically,” the daytime icon adds. Once at the hospital, Sajak says that medical personnel “had to wait till [my blood pressure] lifted a bit so they could do the surgery.”
“My wife and our daughter were with me, and they were, you know, they didn’t know,” he continues of the near-death experience. “I mean, you go in and they don’t know if I’m coming out. You couldn’t do anything.”
“I was in a fetal position, lying on the bed… 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 lauds of the “miracle drug”, his trademark sense of humor returning.
Now Feeling Better Than Ever
With the intestinal blockage, emergency surgery, and the scare-of-a-lifetime behind him, Pat Sajak says he’s now feeling better than ever – and as in love with hosting Wheel of Fortune as he’s ever been.
In fact, Sajak is back to spinning the colors on his famous, enormous wheel, and jokes that nothing has “popped.”
He is, however, much more conscious of his future with the game show now, as any would be. He has, after all, hosted Fortune for more than half of his entire life. Could he do it for another 40 years, though?
Not likely. The host says he’d much rather walk away “too early rather than too late.”
“I think I still do it at a high level,” he ends with ABC. “But you know, I can’t do it another 40 years. I know that because I’d be 110, and that would be a record,” he laughs.