Montel Williams Survived Potentially Deadly Stroke and Now Battles Multiple Sclerosis

TV host Montel Williams, best known for his eponymous show which won him an Emmy Award, once opened up about how he survived an extremely rare type of stroke.

During an interview with Robin Roberts on "Good Morning America," Montel emotionally shared some details about his stroke. He revealed that it all happened while exercising at a hotel gym in New York.

"If she had not been in that room, I would be dead today."

Montel Williams on June 27, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada | Photo: Getty Images

Montel Williams on June 27, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada | Photo: Getty Images

MONTEL ON SURVIVING A STROKE

The host made clear that, until that point, his workload was full as he would travel to several cities in a short period and also work out "like a 25-year-old" man even though he was 61 when the incident happened.

While lifting some weights, he heard a loud pop. It was especially weird because he was the only person at the gym. He turned around to check where the sound came from, and when he turned around again, the entire room turned into "a blur."

Thankfully, he had just watched an episode of "The Dr. Oz Show" that addressed strokes and their symptoms, so he quickly identified that he was having one.

He remembered that people dealing with a stroke should not lie down or sleep, so he walked about "50 years" to the elevator and went from the 2nd floor to the 14th one where his room was.

MONTEL WILLIAMS' WIFE WAS CRUCIAL

Once Montel got there, he just collapsed on the couch and asked his wife, Tara Fowler, to call an ambulance and tell them that he was having a stroke. Fighting back the tears, he said:

"If she had not been in that room, I would be dead today."

Miraculously, one of the only two ambulances equipped for strokes in the entire country was just blocks away from his hotel, so they got there in "six minutes."

The emergency personnel performed a CT scan right on the street and identified that Montel was having a hemorrhagic stroke, which is less common than the ischemic stroke.

Montel Williams on June 26, 2015 in London, England | Photo: Getty Images

Montel Williams on June 26, 2015 in London, England | Photo: Getty Images

THE TECHNOLOGY SAVED HIM

The "Montel Williams Show" star remarked that the technology available at that time also saved his life because, if the paramedics had chosen to treat him like a regular stroke, they would have used blood thinners, which would immediately kill him.

Montel was eventually rushed to the New York-Presbyterian Hospital and spent six days in intensive care. His memories during that time are vague, but he remembers his wife never left him alone.

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The TV personality pointed out that what helped him go through the entire medical scare was Tara, who would always say "I love you" before and after he went to sleep.

Surviving was just part of the problem as it was very likely for him to suffer some physical consequences due to the stroke. Thankfully, he underwent an intense rehab program in Jackson, Tennessee, and nowadays, he is safe and sound.

MONTEL WILLIAMS' MS

Unfortunately, it was not the first time that Montel Williams had to deal with a medical condition. In fact, he has been fighting Multiple Sclerosis (MS) for decades!

He was diagnosed in 1999 when there was little information about it. Apart from that, he had been showing symptoms since he was a student in the 80s. From that point on and for the next 20 years, he got nothing but misdiagnosis.

Montel Williams on January 20, 2018 in Washington, DC | Photo: Getty Images

Montel Williams on January 20, 2018 in Washington, DC | Photo: Getty Images

Montel's experience with MS drove him to be an advocate for the illness and work with Novartis and the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America. One of his goals is urging people to come out with their stories. He said:

"As someone who had reported on the stories of others for years, I know how powerful they can be and the importance of being your own advocate."

Finally, the TV personality admitted to understanding that MS affects the way people think and live, but that each person "owns" their narrative, meaning that the possibility to improve is in their hands.

At the moment, Montel Williams is still very much active in the entertainment industry, participating in shows such as "Military Makeover," "The Resident," and "Tamron Hall."

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