Matthew Perry’s Heart Stopped For 5 Minutes During Surgery He Underwent Just To Get Painkillers

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Leena Nasir Entertainment Reporter
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Matthew Perry admitted his heart stopped for five full minutes during unnecessary surgery he underwent for the sheer purpose of obtaining painkillers.

The “Friends” star revealed the true depths of his addiction issues and indicated he was in surgery when his heart stopped beating. He added that the doctor had to work on him for five minutes straight in order to revive him, according to an excerpt from his memoir, “Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing,” shared with Rolling Stone.

Perry informed fans he was supposed to have a role in “Don’t Look Up,” but this near-death experience prevented him from seeing that project through, according to the excerpt.

The 53-year-old actor said he lied to doctors about having severe stomach pain in a desperate attempt to maintain his addiction to painkillers. This convinced doctors he needed surgery. Perry said he was on the operating table to get a “weird medical device” put in his back, when his heart stopped beating, according to the outlet..

“I was given the shot at 11:00 a.m.,” Perry wrote, according to Rolling Stone. “I woke up 11 hours later in a different hospital. Apparently, the propofol had stopped my heart. For five minutes,” Perry said.

He clarified that he didn’t have a full-blown heart-attack. (RELATED: Joe Biden Pleads With Hunter To Get Help For Addiction In Heartbreaking Audio)


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“I didn’t flatline — but nothing had been beating,” he recalled. “I was told that some beefy Swiss guy really didn’t want the guy from ‘Friends’ dying on his table and did CPR on me for the full five minutes, beating and pounding my chest,” Perry said in his memoir, according to Rolling Stone.

He went on to contemplate his status against that of other patients. “If I hadn’t been on ‘Friends,’ would he have stopped at three minutes?” Perry continued. “Did ‘Friends’ save my life again?”

Perry apparently “stayed up all night taking hydrocodone” the night before the surgery, and the opioid combined with the anesthetic drug propofol used during his procedure led to heart failure, according to Rolling Stone.

Perry’s doctor apparently broke eight ribs in the process of trying to revive him.

The entire surgical procedure was unnecessary and was just a ploy to feed his addiction with more pain pills, Perry admitted, according to the outlet. 

His memoir will be available for purchase Nov. 1, according to the outlet.