‘Lucky to be alive:’ Comedian Sarah Silverman opens up about severe case of epiglottitis

Comedian Sarah Silverman, shown arriving at the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Jan. 30, 2016, said in a Facebook post she is "lucky to be alive" after a severe case of epiglottitis. Silverman was in the ICU for five days fighting the infection. (AP file)

(MEDIA GENERAL) – Comedian Sarah Silverman says she is “lucky to be alive” after she was hospitalized last week with a severe case of epiglottitis.

Silverman credited the doctors and staff at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles for her recovery, as well as the off chance that she decided to see a doctor for what she thought was “just a sore throat.”

“They couldn’t put me fully to sleep for the recovery process because my blood pressure’s too low. I was drugged just enough to not feel the pain and have no idea what was happening or where I was,” Silverman stated in a Facebook post. “They had to have my hands restrained to keep me from pulling out my breathing tube. My friend Stephanie said I kept writing “was I in an accident?”

Silverman reportedly was in intensive care for five days while fighting a potentially fatal infection that causes severe inflammation around the windpipe.

“I owe my life to Dr. Shawn Nasseri, Dr. Robert Naruse, Dr. Rob Huizenga, every nurse, and every technician and orderly at Cedars (whose) punch-the-clock jobs happen to save human lives on the regular,” Silverman said.

In true Silverman fashion, her hospital stay had its share of laughs, as well.

“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?’” Silverman recalled.

Epiglottitis is commonly prevented with the Hib vaccine, which usually is given to infants. It often is caused by a bacterial infection or results from an injury, including burns from hot liquids or chemicals. It affects approximately 1 in every 100,000 people. A common symptom of epiglottitis is fever, sore throat, drooling and difficulty breathing and swallowing. The Mayo Clinic warns if someone suddenly has trouble breathing or swallowing to seek medical help immediately.

Read Silverman’s full post:

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