Fallen British soccer legend Paul Gascoigne has opened up about his terrifying experience in rehab last month (Feb13), revealing he came close to death as his alcohol-ravaged body began to shut down.
The troubled former sports star has spent years battling drink and drug abuse, so celebrity friends including British DJ Chris Evans, newsman Piers Morgan and soccer ace Gary Lineker clubbed together to pay for him to enter a detox program in the U.S.
However, the rehab stint took a frightening turn when Gascoigne suffered an adverse reaction to medication and spent three days unconscious in an intensive care unit.
The star battled through the health crisis to complete the program, and has now flown back to Britain, where he has given his first post-rehab interview and detailed his terrifying near-death experience.
He tells Britain's The Sun newspaper, "I knew I had been in a bad way, but I didn't realise it was that bad - I really didn't. The medics who have spent their entire careers treating alcoholics said my detox was the worst they had ever seen... Three doctors didn't think I would make it. I was out cold for three days."
Gascoigne's lowest point came when he realised doctors had been forced to tie him to a bed to stop him ripping the intravenous drips out of his arms: "I looked like a corpse.. The reason I was tied to the bed was I had tubes in either arm. And those tubes couldn't come out..."
Gascoigne feels relieved to have come through the health crisis and is now planning to get his life back on track, adding, "I'm so grateful to be alive... It has got to inspire me never to let this happen again. I'm excited because I was f**king dead two weeks ago. I've come through that - death. I was dead."