Matthew Perry opens up about his brush with death amid a serious opioid and alcohol addiction in is new memoir Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing.
He told the People that when his colon burst from opiod overuse in 2018, doctors told his family that he only had a two percent chance to live. The Friends star explained, “I was put on a thing called an ECMO machine, which does all the breathing for your heart and lungs. And that’s called a Hail Mary. No one survives that.”
Perry admitted that his therapist was able to inspire him to stay off drugs by reminding him that if he ever took Oxycontin again, he’d likely have to use a colostomy bag for the rest of his life.
The actor was already struggling with alcohol addiction when he was cast on the Friends at the age of 24. He recalled that he was only sober for Season 9 adding, “And guess which season I got nominated for best actor? I was like, ‘That should tell me something.'”
Although he tried to hide his struggles, his cast mates were aware “and they were patient.” Perry said, ‘It’s like penguins. Penguins in nature, when one is sick, or when one is very injured, the other penguins surround it and prop it up. They walk around it until that penguin can walk on its own. That's kind of what the cast did for me.”
While Perry prefers not to disclose how long he’s been sober, he says he still counts each day.
Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing drops on November 1st.