The TV personality and host opened up to Robin Roberts on “Good Morning America” about a stroke that nearly claimed his life.
Williams was in New York City for work back in May when, while working out, a loud pop and realized he was starting to exhibit the symptoms of someone who’d just had a stroke — including vision problems and drooling on one side of his mouth.
In that moment, key information covered in the program came rushing back to him, Williams said. Instead of giving in to the sudden fatigue that had hit him — he recalled the show advising people not to go to sleep or lay down — he summoned his energy and walked to the elevator, using the wall for support along the way.
“I could barely move,” he said.
Once back on his floor, he went into his room and called for his wife.
“I said, ‘Call an ambulance right now and tell them your husband just had a stroke,'” he recalled, his voice breaking with emotion. “If she had not been in that room, I would be dead today.”
Williams was later told he’d suffered a hemorrhagic stroke. He spent six days in intensive care, with his wife by his side.
“That’s what kept me going,” he said.
After intensive rehab, Williams is back in top condition and the new host of the series “Military Makeover,” which provides service members with home renovations.
Williams said he hopes his story helps others, particularly those with “Type-A personalities like me,” who have a tendency to push themselves.
At the time of his stroke, Williams said he was traveling to multiple cities per week, working out “in the gym like a 25-year-old,” and “pushing all the time.”
“It’s a warning that I want to send out to a lot of people,” he said.