Matthew Perry's Near-Death Experience In 2018 Is Even More Painful To Revisit Now

This article contains mention of substance abuse and addiction.

Matthew Perry's life was filled with a lot of ups and downs, and at one point, the actor had a near-death experience just years before he tragically passed away.

On October 28, 2023, TMZ reported that Perry had died due to an apparent drowning. Authorities reported that there was no foul play involved, nor were there any drugs found on the scene. "Friends" fanatics mourned the loss of Perry as he was best known for his role as Chandler Bing on the hit show. On the outside, Perry's life seemed quite spectacular with the immense success he gained from "Friends," but little did everyone know that the actor was battling with alcohol and drug addiction.

According to ABC, Perry began drinking at the age of 14 and continued to drink excessively throughout his time on "Friends." In 1997, Perry's addiction issues worsened after he ventured into painkillers, per People. The actor had gotten into a jet ski accident while filming "Fools Rush In" and was prescribed Vicodin. This sparked his addiction to painkillers, and he admitted that he would take 55 Vicodin a day, which caused him to drop down to 128 pounds. He shared, "I didn't know how to stop...I couldn't stop because the disease and the addiction is progressive. So it gets worse and worse as you grow older." Eventually, the actor would become sober, but it didn't come easy. And his struggles with addiction landed him in the hospital in 2018, facing a near-death experience.

Matthew Perry had a 2% chance of living in 2018

In 2018, Matthew Perry suffered a near-death experience that has been painful for many fans to revisit since his passing. According to Variety, in 2018, the actor nearly died after "his colon burst due to an overuse of opioids." In 2022, Perry opened up about the health issue, sharing with People, "I was put on a thing called an ECMO machine, which does all the breathing for your heart and your lungs. And that's called a Hail Mary. No one survives that." The "Friends" actor revealed doctors told his friends and family he had "a 2 percent chance to live."

In 2022, Perry revealed a chilling moment about his 2018 health issue in an interview with Tom Powers. He shared, "Five people had an ECMO machine that night, and the other four died, and I survived." At the time, Perry admitted he wasn't filled with gratitude that he survived but rather was angry about the difficulties that came with his sudden health issue. Eventually, Perry came to terms with what he had to endure and became grateful for being able to bounce back. He shared, "I never thought I'd get to sit up here, I never thought – it's crazy that I wrote a number one best seller. It's pretty cool." Unfortunately, just five years later, the "Friends" actor would tragically pass away. And while the cause of death is still unknown, he will forever be remembered by family, friends, and fans.

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).