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AEW’s Chris Jericho details surviving a pulmonary embolism

Jericho opened up about his experience on Talk is Jericho.
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Chris Jericho has opened up about the medical issue he experienced in late 2021. 

Speaking on an episode of Talk Is Jericho, he detailed being diagnosed with and overcoming a pulmonary embolism. 

"I did have a what is called a pulmonary embolism back in December 7, I believe, of 2021 and I found this out when I was in London, England," Jericho said on the show. 

A pulmonary embolism is a blood clot that has traveled to a person's lungs and restricts blood flow.  

Jericho continued to say that he first began noticing symptoms while playing a show with Fozzy in Newcastle. 

"I found myself searching for breath and gasping for breath during the songs to where it was hard to even sing all the lyrics," he continued. 

Jericho spoke with his doctor from Tampa who said it might be blood clots and they could do a full scan when he gets back. Jericho continued to feel short of breath after another show and his doctor then told him to go to the hospital. Jericho continued to perform more shows, however, until he finally had a doctor visit him at the Hard Rock in London. This doctor performed a blood test that revealed he did have clots. Jericho was again instructed to go to the hospital. 

Jericho then said he started to experience problems walking and said he felt as though he was "walking up a mountain." 

"I get to the hospital and I can barely walk. Walking across the lobby to get to the car to go to the hospital was a real task, it was terrifying. Three steps and I was just huffing and puffing and heart is pounding," he continued. 

A CT scan then revealed his lungs were filled with blood clots. He was sent for more tests but Jericho told staff at the hospital that he did not want to wear a gown or use a wheelchair. 

"Even though it was hard for me to walk, I did not want to get in that wheelchair and I did not want to put on that gown. I put on shorts and a muscle shirt and I said, 'this is fine, I'll do this' and they're like, 'sir, you have to put on your gown' and I said, 'no, I don't' and they just kind of thankfully left me because to me if I put the gown on, that's more of a permanent stay."

They gave Jericho blood thinners and he settled into the hospital. At this point, Fozzy had not canceled any shows. The doctors told Jericho he would have to stay there until they had evidence the blood thinners were working and the blood clots were going away. 

Jericho's oxygen level continued to decrease, however, and he was put on oxygen. The following morning he was told his blood levels were not where doctors wanted them to be and he was still not permitted to leave the hospital. This resulted in Fozzy having to cancel shows.

Jericho then saw a specialist and was told he could not fly home until his oxygen levels were high enough. He was allowed to leave the hospital, however, and he continued to stay at the Hard Rock in London. 

"Walking out that door was one of the greatest moments of my life because I was like, 'okay, I'm out of the hospital, I made it' and they were concerned about a lot of things but at least I was out."

At this point, he was still very short of breath and walking was difficult. While staying in the Hard Rock London, he appeared on a number of podcasts to help pass the time. More tests came back to show that Jericho was getting better and he was permitted to go home. 

He was still not able to wrestle when he got home to Tampa because of the blood thinner medication he was taking. 

Jericho continued to say that once back in Tampa he went through even more testing. One of those tests measured the visceral fat around his organs. His doctor then told him he needed to lose weight. He then began working with a medical weight loss clinic. 

"I went in there, I was 241lbs. Now, looking back, was I too big? Absolutely. Overweight? I guess. Ever out of shape cardio-wise? No, I never was blowing up or anything like that but I had gained some weight after I worked with Kenny Omega at the Tokyo Dome. I was going through a Bruiser Brody phase," Jericho said. 

"I wanted to lose 10lbs, I lost 11 in the first week. I thought, 'well, let me stick with this and see how it goes.' I currently weigh 209lbs, so I lost 32lbs since January and that was by about April that I was down to that. So, that's when the big weight loss happened." 

Around this time, he was able to reduce the level of blood thinners he was taking. He also read about athletes who needed to take blood thinners but would not take their medication for 36 hours before they needed to perform.

Jericho was told that he did have a hereditary gene that could contribute to blood clots. 

"My first match back officially was February 16 with Jake Hager versus Santana and Ortiz in Nashville. I think at that point I was down 25lbs. I had the match, I remember the match was really good, hard-hitting, impactful, and I just basically stopped taking the blood thinners 36 hours before, and then as soon as the match is done you can continue taking the blood thinners."

All the while, further scans continued to show that his blood clots were going away. He was able to reduce the level of blood thinners he was taking even more. 

"If they're still moving in the right direction, there is a chance that I won't have to be on these blood thinners at all. It's not a big deal now, I take them twice a day, you just have to remember," he said.  

"It was a warning to me that you need to take better care of yourself because I needed to lose weight, I just didn't really think about it."

"It's just good to know that when I had this warning about my health from God that I was able to really take advantage of that and make sure it doesn't happen again." 

Jericho also said that his weight loss and physical transformation have led to a career resurgence for him. 

"I'm happy. I feel that this is a career resurgence for me at the perfect time and most importantly, I am healthy."

"I'll end it off with this, if you guys are having any warnings for anything, please go get checked out." 

"I love you guys and thank you for your concern. And that's the reason why I wasn't around and that's kind of the issues that I had, the medical issues that I had were caused by a pulmonary embolism. So, now you know, and you know how I survived a pulmonary embolism."