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Sarah Silverman ‘almost dies’ after bout of severe illness

Sarah Silverman
Sarah Silverman attends the Academy Awards on February 27, 2016 in Hollywood, California. Christopher Polk/Getty Images

Sarah Silverman, best-known for her comedy, endured a close call recently when she suffered what she calls “a freak case of epiglottitis.”

She says she’s “insanely lucky to be alive” after undergoing surgery and spending a week in the intensive care unit.

Epiglottitis is a swelling of the cartilage lid that covers the windpipe; the condition can block the flow of air into lungs and is potentially life-threatening. It’s most commonly caused by inhalation of bacteria, and is a derivative strain of influenza.

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Silverman wrote in a Facebook post Wednesday (in her own comedic, heartfelt manner) that she underwent surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and couldn’t be put to sleep for the recovery process because of low blood pressure.

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She added that she had to have her hands restrained to keep her from pulling out her breathing tube. It wasn’t clear when the surgery took place, but she says she owes her life to hospital staff.

Silverman managed to find the silver lining in the experience, and even managed to crack jokes with the attending ICU nurse.

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“I couldn’t speak for a while and I don’t remember a lot of my ‘lucid’ time, but Amy (the Zvi) told me I stopped a nurse — like it was an emergency — furiously wrote down a note and gave it to her. When she looked at it, it just said, ‘Do you live with your mother?’ next to a drawing of a penis.”

She thanked her family, friends and boyfriend (actor Michael Sheen) for staying by her side during the crisis.

With files from The Associated Press

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