Whoopi Goldberg Had ‘1 in 3’ Chance of Dying from Pneumonia, Her Doctors Reveal

On Monday’s episode on “The View,” the co-hosts invited two doctors that helped Whoopi Goldberg recover from a serious bout of pneumonia. The doctor’s revealed that she had a “1 in 3” chance of dying from the infection.

On the most recent episode of “The View,” Whoopi Goldberg, 63, and her co-hosts raised awareness about the dangers of pneumonia. The doctors on the show revealed that Goldberg had a 30% chance of dying from the infection earlier this year.


The star had to take time off from the daytime talk show to battle pneumonia and sepsis. During the episode, the two doctors explained to the audience how deadly Goldberg’s condition was.

The actress and talk show host shared that she’d started feeling sick last November when she battled a cough. However, for months after that, she still wasn’t well enough and ended up being rushed to the emergency room in February.

The infection had gotten so bad that she was unable to walk and could barely breathe. Goldberg confessed: “I came very, very close' to death.”


Describing the symptoms that led to her being hospitalized, Dr. Jorge Rodriguez recalled: "Her teeth were chattering, she was gasping for air." He admitted: "I could barely understand Whoopi."

The doctor further explained

"I tried not to sound scared. … I was afraid she wasn’t going to wake up because you don’t know if someone, when they give you those clues ― is she really now just tired or is she going to become unconscious and this is it?"


The doctor who actually treated Goldberg, Pulmonologist Martin Greenberg, shared that her condition was dire and they needed "all hands on deck" when she was admitted. Greenberg revealed that she had a high fever, shortness of breath, rapid heart rate, and low oxygen levels.

He shared that he had to drain fluid from her lungs twice to save her life. Greenberg revealed that her right lung was like a "sponge” and it was so congested with fluid that it couldn't fill with air.


Goldberg eventually returned to "The View" in April. In a video message which she released in March, she confessed to her fans that she "came very, very close to leaving the Earth."

Sharing her story was her effort to motivate others to be vigilant about their health. The actress added: "It's OK to go to the doctor because you don't feel good."


Pneumonia is an infection that can be deadly as it inflames the air sacs in either one or both lungs. An infected person’s sacs fill up with fluid that can cause one to cough and have difficulty breathing.

The infection then causes phlegm to fill your lungs and could lead you to experience chills and fever. Some patients also experience nausea and vomiting

If the infection spreads to both of your lungs you could become septic like in Goldberg’s case and it then becomes a life-threatening condition.