Alan Ruck almost lost it all.
The 60-year-old Ferris Bueller’s Day Off star shares the alarming story of an out-of-nowhere health crisis that blindsided him — and nearly left him brain-damaged — on Saturday’s Oprah: Where Are They Now?
In an exclusive clip from the episode, Ruck recounts a December 2001 episode when he collapsed in his apartment after feeling “like I had the worst flu of my life … this headache that wouldn’t quit.”
“The next thing I know, I’m hearing ‘5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Happy New Year!’ And I was Nyack Hospital in Nyack New York with tubes coming out of everything, and I was sick as a dog.”
Ruck was diagnosed with Streptococcal Type G infection, which causes bacteria in the blood stream. Doctors were concerned the actor might not fully recover from the disease, which had made its way to his brain and caused stroke-like symptoms.
“The first two days they told my ex-wife [Claudia Stefany] that ‘He’s going to die.’ And then they were like, ‘No, he’s hanging in there, but he’s not going to have all his marbles.’ ”
Ruck, who was costarring with Charlie Sheen in the sitcom Spin City at the time, thankfully bounced back — not only physically, but also professionally.
“I came around. [I was] just lucky,” he says with a signature Cameron Frye-style grin and a shrug.
Oprah: Where Are They Now? airs Saturdays (10 p.m. ET) on OWN.