On Aug. 11, former professional wrestler Ric Flair was admitted to the hospital.
According to the New York Post, when Flair began experiencing an extremely upset stomach, he asked his wife to take him to the emergency room.
Taking a stroll in Downtown San Diego with My Sweetheart! pic.twitter.com/oJb3RCVEaG
— Ric Flair® (@RicFlairNatrBoy) July 23, 2017
Flair told People magazine that within hours of being admitted to the hospital, his kidneys began shutting down. Doctors feared he was going into congestive heart failure. He spent an entire week in a coma.
— Pro Wrestling Sheet (@WrestlingSheet) September 21, 2017
The 68-year-old had no idea how bad his health was until he learned doctors told his daughter, Charlotte, to say her goodbyes. He explained:
“My daughter [Charlotte] told me that the doctor told her to go see me — that I wasn’t going to make it. I had no idea it was that bad. Wendy never told me.”
According to People, it was determined Flair’s health problems were the result of his years of drinking.
Back In Front Of The Camera Like I Never Left…With A Couple Pounds Of Solid Gold And Diamonds Around My Neck. Prayers Up For FL and TX! ? pic.twitter.com/v6aYXRGXau
— Ric Flair® (@RicFlairNatrBoy) September 11, 2017
Flair admitted he never thought of himself as an alcoholic until his drinking landed him in the hospital at 68 years old:
“I didn’t think I was an alcoholic, but obviously I was.”
Flair is a legendary WWE wrestler who fought some of the toughest opponents and ultimately won 16 world championships during his career.
Known as “Nature Boy” back in his prime, Flair revealed he would turn to alcohol in order to cope with his problems throughout the entirety of his career.
To Be The Man…
You Gotta Beat The Man! WOOOOO! pic.twitter.com/uNrb0HujO5
— Ric Flair® (@RicFlairNatrBoy) July 17, 2017
When he was injured, he would drink. When the season ended, he would drink. It never occurred to him just how much harm he was doing to his body.
Sometimes you have to get knocked down lower than you have ever been, to stand up taller than you ever were. Naitch WILL be back! ? pic.twitter.com/v9YbIEykt9
— Ric Flair® (@RicFlairNatrBoy) August 29, 2017
He told People:
“I’ve never taken a pain pill in my life. I’d just take a shower, flip my hair back and go to the best bar in town.”
“I never drank when I was working, but as soon as work was over, I went right to the mill.”
The proud father of four admitted that despite surviving a plane crash and being struck by lightning, no journey has been quite like this one.
— Ric Flair® (@RicFlairNatrBoy) September 20, 2017
He is now in rehabilitation in order to combat his alcoholism:
“I’ll never drink again. I crashed in an airplane and broke my back, I’ve been hit by lightning — but this is totally different. Anything I’ve been through before is nothing like this.”
During his hospital stay, Flair underwent a surgical procedure to remove part of his bowel and to have a pacemaker put in.