William Regal is perhaps one of the most well-respected wrestling veterans alive today. Based on his medical troubles alone that he’s had over his career, it’s safe to say he’s more than earned that respect.
In part one of his interview with Chris Jericho on “Talk Is Jericho,” much of the discussion revolved around Regal’s injuries over his long career. He tore a lot of muscles, broke many bones, and wrestled with Pericarditis, a disease involving the skin around his heart that nearly killed him. If not for surgery, he would have had six months to live.
The issue also correlated with his bad neck, which caused problems with his motor functions, where he had to have multiple disks fused. Both issues compounded into an event where he had to choose between dying in 24 hours or having his leg removed. Fortunately, a knowledgeable nurse prevented either possibility from happening.
“They sent me for a scan because my legs were swelling. They did a scan of my abdomen. Fortunately for me, there’s a cardiologist in the room. This lady saved my life. She said, ‘Hang on a minute. Something doesn’t look right.’ But they couldn’t scan there again, because I’ve already been injected Friday and they said to come back Monday. I went home. Within an hour of me being in the house, my cardiologist called me going, ‘I’m sorry. You’ve probably got less than six months to live.’ What happened was this sack around my heart completely calcified. It looked like a goose egg. It was completely constricted. It had just grown into a solid lump of rock. They cut me open, and he’s tapping on it at the beginning, tapping on this goose egg with a scalpel. Then three hours later, you can see where he’s peeled it all off. You can see a completely beating heart. If they didn’t take this off, I would have had six months to live. It’s a very rare operation. There are only a few people who can do that. Again. Fortunately, WWE got me a doctor in Atlanta that did this. I was in the hospital for eight weeks. I had insisted on getting out of the hospital. I think about after four weeks. I had leaked, like fluid leaking constantly out my legs. I was swollen up like the Michelin man. I was laying on a bed for a while now for about four and a half weeks. I had a drip in both arms. I couldn’t move, literally couldn’t move. I was cramping up because they were giving me diuretics. I’m insisting on staying out of the hospital, but they’re going, no, you have to go. I just cramped literally from my eyelids to my toes. I fell out of bed and on the floor. My wife couldn’t move me. I barely came in and the other son picked me up off the floor and they got an ambulance. The hospital said, ‘He has sepsis in his leg again. We’re going to cut his leg off and he’s got probably 24 hours to live if we don’t.’ The doctor who was looking after me, his wife, is a doctor. She was on call. So, she overheard this and called her husband at home, woke him up, and said they’re about to chop his leg. He called them and said, ‘Inject him with this, this this this and this. That worked and it saved my leg.” (H/T WrestlingNews.com)
Part two of the interview will drop next week on Talk is Jericho. Other things discussed along with Regal’s injuries are his final match with Cesaro, his under-the-radar feud with Moxley while in FCW, putting over Bryan Danielson, and other topics.