Oprah Winfrey reveals ‘very serious’ health scare with pneumonia

Oprah Winfrey has revealed she's just recovered from a "very serious" health scare. REUTERS
Oprah Winfrey has revealed she recently survived a "very serious" health scare that forced her to "stop and cancel everything".

Oprah doesn’t stop, and nothing stops Oprah.

One of the world’s most ambitious and revered media personalities, who shows no signs of slowing down even at 65, not much gets in the way of Oprah Winfrey.

That was until a lung specialist told her she had pneumonia.

Stop. Stop and cancel everything, he told her.

“I’ve never cancelled anything. I work when I’m sick”, she revealed to Ellen DeGeneres on Tuesday – the first time it was made public that she’d been battling with the disease.

Winfrey was cleared of the potentially life-threatening condition by her specialist just a day before appearing on “Ellen”.

“Pneumonia is nothing to play with, y’all. It is very serious,” she told the show’s daily audience of around 4.2 million.

“I came back from overseas and I thought I had a cold, but it wasn’t a cold,” Winfrey said.

“I ended up in the emergency room and they said, ‘You have pneumonia.”’

After taking antibiotics for a week, her condition failed to improve.

Her doctor sent her to a lung specialist, which put her on the path to recovery – having cleared her schedule.

“He puts his stethoscope here and I see the ‘Oh s–t’ face. It was like, ‘Oh my God, something’s wrong with you.’ And I can see it. He didn’t hide it,” she added on Ellen.

Winfrey said she had 18 vials of blood taken from her as she fought the disease.

A week later she was given the all-clear.

“When I walked in and I was better, he thanked me three times for getting better and said, ‘Can I have a hug?”’ Winfrey said.

“I could tell that he was like, ‘Not on my watch is this gonna happen.”’

Oprah’s warning shot

In January, Winfrey will embark on a health and wellness tour in nine US cities called “Oprah’s 2020 Vision: Your Life in Focus”.

The events are aimed at encouraging people to take better care of themselves, and as the US and other developed countries grapple with a Measles epidemic, immunisation is sure to be high on the agenda.

“Don’t play with it,” she said on “Ellen”.

“Get your flu shots and get your pneumonia shots, it’s nothing to play with. It takes people out.”

Pneumonia can strike out of the blue, and there are two common types: Viral and bacterial.

Both are contagious. The latter form can be triggered by influenza, and therefore the chances of contracting it are reduced if you’ve had a flu shot.

Symptoms for pneumonia include a cough that may produce yellow or green phlegm, shortness of breath, chest or rib pain and abnormal breath. These symptoms are typically accompanied by a fever.

Also in January, Winfrey’s documentary series on mental health, which she has been working on with co-Executive Producer Prince Harry, will air on Apple TV+.

There really is no stopping her.

Read more:
‘The simple truth is vaccines save lives’
Is your laundry making you sick?


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