Winters Reveals Near-death Experience
Actor DEAN WINTERS came within minutes of death after he was struck down with a bacterial infection last year (09) - his heart stopped beating while he was on his way to hospital.
The 30 Rock star fell ill last June (09) with a fever and collapsed during a consultation with his doctor in New York, he was transported to a nearby hospital, but nearly didn't make it after losing consciousness in the ambulance.
He tells New York Post gossip column Page Six, "I was afraid to go to St. Vincent's (hospital), so I went to my doctor's office on Central Park West, where I collapsed. I was turning black, and my whole head was swelling up. I died on Fifth Avenue."
Paramedics were able to revive him and he spent three weeks in an intensive care unit, before being released.
But his health took another turn for the worse a month after he was discharged from hospital - the actor developed gangrene and doctors were forced to amputate one of his thumbs and two toes.
He has since undergone a series of painful operations, including skin grafts and surgery to rebuild his right hand.
Winters admits he's lucky to be alive and he's grateful to 30 Rock creator Tina Fey for putting him back to work on the show as soon as he felt well enough. He adds, "For the (30 Rock) season finale, I had casts on both arms, and another on my foot, which was kept off-camera. And she literally had me propped up on a stool.
"I feel like I'm a member of a very exclusive club - with a very tight door policy. It's gonna take more than a finger and a couple of toes to keep me down."