WWE Hall of Famer “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan spent his most recent Thanksgiving in an Intensive Care Unit in South Carolina with family by his side. We now know he was suffering from breathing trouble and heart complications.
In an interview with TMZ Sports, Duggan explained how a tightness in his chest that he originally attributed to a torn pectoral muscle progressed in to difficulty breathing. Duggan’s wife was the one who finally convinced him to visit the hospital and he explained how terrifying it was to see people in masks connecting his body to all different types of medical machines.
“I flew up to New York on Sunday for an autograph session and flew back Sunday night,” Duggan began. “I had a little tightness in my chest, and of course some years ago I tore my pectoral muscle and never had it fixed, so I thought that was the problem. Well, I drove back from Virginia on Monday, and Tuesday night I was trying to move some boxes for my daughter and I’m like, ‘I cant believe how out of shape I am! I can’t walk up the stairs carrying a box.’ I was really having trouble breathing.’
“Tuesday morning, I got up and I was trying to take my blood pressure, and my wife came in, and I said, ‘maybe I should get an EKG, but not at the hospital!’ And she said, ‘We’re going to the hospital!’ Of course, we went in and with chest problems, they take good care of you. The first EKG they did, six or eight more people came in the room and started sticking me and plugging me up to machines and stuff. Which was pretty terrifying to tell you the truth, because ya know, I’ve been relatively healthy my whole life and never had a heart problem. And all of a sudden, all these people with masks on are seriously working on you. It’s pretty terrifying! They told me my heart had gone in to AFib, which is not a life-threatening deal.”
Duggan remained in good spirits despite his diagnosis, finding support from his family and the friends who have dealt with similar heart complications.
“Bill Eadie, one of the Demolition guys, called me and said he had Afib for many years,” Duggan said. “Jerry Lawler called me and said, of course, he has a heart problem and is still doing well. [Brian] Knobbs and [Jerry] Sags. Hulk Hogan. Just everybody checked in on me, which was really nice. The outpouring from the fans and friends is humbling.”
Duggan was released from the hospital last weekend. You can see his full comments in the video above.
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit TMZ Sports with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.