Matthew Perry recalls near-death experience amid opioid addiction: ‘Only had 2 percent of chance to live’

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - OCTOBER 14: Actor Matthew Perry arrives at the 9th Annual Dinner Benefiting the Lili Claire Foundation at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on October 14, 2006 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images)

Matthew Perry’s life was not always as prosperous as it appeared.

Perry established his career as an actor after making his debut in 1979. However, he is best known for his role as Chandler Bing in “Friends.”

Despite his success, the actor reportedly had a near-death experience while battling addiction for years.

In an interview with PEOPLE ahead of the release of his memoir, “Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing,” Perry revealed more details about the terrifying experience. The actor focused on his drug and alcohol addiction journey and his efforts to become sober and healthy again.

The first part of the 53-year-old actor’s memoir details how he nearly died four years ago after his colon burst due to his opioid addiction. Perry was hospitalized for three months in 2018 following surgery for a gastrointestinal perforation.

He said:

“The doctors told my family that I had a 2 percent chance to live. I was put on a thing called an ECMO machine, which does all the breathing for your heart and your lungs. And that’s called a Hail Mary. No one survives that.”

According to Mount Sinai, gastrointestinal perforation is a condition that occurs when a hole forms in the wall of a body organ. It can begin in the gallbladder, rectum, stomach, esophagus, small intestine, or large intestine.

Perry revealed that when he was cast as a member of “Friends,” he became addicted to alcohol. He was 24 years old at the time.

Initially, he was able to deal with the difficulties. However, it wasn’t until he was 34 that he hit rock bottom in his addiction battle. Perry weighed only 128 pounds at the time, and he was taking 55 Vicodin per day as he realized his addiction was progressing as he grew older.

Fortunately, he survived everything and worked hard to regain his health.

Perry did not say when he became sober, but he told the outlet that he knew everything and had learned much from it.

His 14 surgery scars on his stomach reportedly serve as a constant reminder to him to stay sober.

After all of that, Perry is grateful for the experience that made him stronger “in every way.”