In his first interview since last month's health scare, Ric Flair detailed just how dire the problems were and how decades of alcohol abuse led to the situation.
Flair and Wendy Barlow, Flair's fiancee and formerly Fifi the Maid in WCW, spoke to People magazine last week at the physical therapy center Flair's recovering at in Georgia.
"The day he told me he had a stomach ache and it was really bad and he didn't feel good and we had to go was the day that saved his life, because he was slowly dying," Barlow said about the day she took Flair to the hospital. The years of heavy drinking led to organ problems and his bowel was "dying" before being put in a medically-induced coma and undergoing surgery.
Barlow noted that doctors told her that Flair only had a 20 percent chance of surviving the surgery. Flair said that he didn't know how bad things were at the time, but Charlotte told him that a doctor told her to go see her father because he wasn't going to make it.
Flair was able to survive the surgery, have a pacemaker installed, and get through the immediate dangers that he was facing. He's started some physical therapy, but Tina Johnson, a senior editor for People, said that Flair has a long road ahead of him and can't walk by himself yet.
Barlow credited her oldest daughter, the phone conversations she had with Steve Austin, and Hulk Hogan's support as helping her get through the scare. Hogan flew in and visited Flair in the hospital, with Flair reading a message that Hogan wrote to him: "The number of your days shall be filled. Now is the time to tell your story, now is the time to help millions of people. You are the greatest wrestler I have ever seen and have the honor to call a real friend. Love you my brother, you are 'The Man.''
The video feature detailed Barlow previously trying to get Flair help for his issues with alcohol. He said that he knows that he'll need to show people that he's really changed his lifestyle, but he wants to do motivational speaking and teach others that they need to pay attention to what's going on in their lives.
“I didn’t think I was an alcoholic, but obviously I was," Flair told People. “I’ll never drink again. I never want to go through this again.”
The full video feature can be seen on People TV.