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Arnold Schwarzenegger talks bouncing back from nearly fatal heart surgery complication

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Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images for Netflix

On his fitness-centric YouTube channel The Pump, Arnold Schwarzenegger revealed to his followers that he suffered a potentially fatal heart surgery complication years ago and shared what it took to get him back into cyborg shape.

The Terminator star and former California governor underwent pulmonary heart valve surgery for the first time in 1997 to correct a congenital defect; in 2018, that valve needed to be replaced.

The star is now revealing, “I woke up and all of a sudden the doctors were in front of me saying, ‘I’m so sorry, but it was unlike what we planned … We made a mistake and poked through the heart wall.'”

Arnold said he was “freaking out” and recalled the surgeons “had to open me up very quickly” to save his life.

The bodybuilding legend explained, “The bottom line is, you cannot roll the clock back. I was in the middle of a disaster. So now how do I get out of it? You have to shift gears. Collect yourself…and say, ‘Okay, what I need to do now is get out of this hospital.'”

To a throwback video, Schwarzenegger said, “I looked like an idiot waddling around” the halls of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, but he explained he needed to work his lungs to stave off pneumonia.

After he was released, Arnold showed video of his getting pumped again for 2019’s Terminator: Dark Fate, starting with tiny dumbbells.

He added, “I had to be in shape, I had to move around…lift things up, do the fight scenes,” crediting a “positive attitude” and a “support system” with getting him “all back together again.”

In 2020, the FUBAR star underwent an aortic valve replacement surgery — this time at the renowned Cleveland Clinic — but explained at the time it went smoothly.

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