Beloved Wheel of Fortune host, Pat Sajak, appeared on Good Morning America on Friday.
This was Sajak’s first interview since undergoing surgery for a blocked intestine, surgery which ultimately led to him taking a leave of absence from his job on Wheel of Fortune.
The 73-year-old game show host recalled the entire terrifying ordeal:
“My blood pressure had fallen dramatically. [The doctors] had to wait till it lifted a bit so they could do the surgery. … I was in the fetal position, lying on the bed. … 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 was convinced he was going to die in the aftermath.
“I remember thinking, not in a morbid way, ‘This must be what death is like,’” he said. “I didn’t feel badly about dying. I felt badly that [my wife and daughter] were going to have to deal with the aftermath.”
Vanna White stepped up to hose the series in his absence, the host calling her a “trooper.”
“It would’ve been well within her rights to say, ‘Wait a minute, this is not what you’re paying me for. This is not what I do. And I’d rather not. But she’s a team player. And she was very nervous and not comfortable.”
“There’s not much I could tell her,” he said.
“She knows the way the show works. I just tried to be encouraging and help out on that level,” he added. “But she had fun with it.”
As for when Sajak will be back at work, it sounds like he will be back on-screen before we know it.
“I’ve actually felt ridiculously good for several weeks. I’ve been back in the studio actually, doing shows. Even spinning the wheel and, you know, nothing has popped. So I think it’s OK,” he continued.
What’s more, Sajak even opened up about when we should expect him to retire from the show he’s hosted since back in 1981.
“I think I still do it at a high level,” he said. “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.”
Watch the full interview segment below.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.