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'I Almost Died': Tatum O’Neal Reveals She Overdosed On Drugs In 2020 -- Resulting In 6-Week Coma

Tatum O’Neal Reveals 2020 Overdose Which Resulted In Stroke & 6-Week Coma: ‘I Almost Died’

Tatum O’Neal is fighting her way back from rock bottom.

In an emotional interview with People published Wednesday, the Oscar winner opened up about a near-fatal overdose in 2020 that left her temporarily unable to walk or speak — in her own words, she remembered:

“I almost died.”

Towards the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the former child star was prescribed various medications for back and neck pain, as well as rheumatoid arthritis. Tatum had famously struggled with addiction for decades — and unfortunately, as many on such painkillers do, she began abusing the prescription drugs.

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Her oldest child, son Kevin McEnroe, 37, whom she shares with former husband and tennis champ John McEnroe, explained to the outlet:

“She had become very isolated. With the addition of morphine and heavier pharmaceuticals, it was getting scary. COVID, chronic pain, all these things led to a place of isolation. In that place, I don’t think, for her, there was much hope.”

In May of 2020, Tatum overdosed from a combination of pain meds, opiates, and morphine.

A friend found her in her Century City apartment and rushed her to the hospital. There, it was discovered she’d suffered a devastating stroke, resulting in aphasia — meaning the parts of her brain responsible for communication had been affected. Kevin remembered:

“It was the phone call we’d always been waiting for. She also had a cardiac arrest and a number of seizures. There were times we didn’t think she was going to survive.”

He added:

“I had to call my brother and sister and say she was thought to be blind, deaf and potentially might never speak again.”

The Paper Moon star remained in a coma for six weeks before she finally woke up, totally unaware of her state. Kevin added:

“She didn’t know where she was. She couldn’t say, ‘I’m scared.’”

Thankfully she made it through — and can tell us just how terrifying it was for her. Tatum recalled of that dark time trapped inside herself:

“I didn’t know where I was, I didn’t know what to think, I didn’t know what to do, and I had no, no, no words at all. Nothing. And nobody could figure out what was going to go on — if I was going to die or if I was going to live, and I lived. It is a miracle.”

Even worse, COVID restrictions made it difficult for Kevin and his two younger siblings, brother Sean, 35, and sister Emily, 32, to visit their mother.

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In the years since her fateful overdose, Tatum has been working toward recovery. She vulnerably told the outlet:

“I’ve been trying to get sober my whole life. Every day, I am trying.”

The 59-year-old now attends daily therapy, as well as twelve step recovery meetings. She added, “I’ve been through a lot,” sharing:

“I was an addict my whole life pretty much on and off, for the past 30 to 40 years.”

Kevin recalled his mother wanting to get sober for her kids, but never really for herself — something which has now changed since her brush with death:

“She has embraced this attempt at recovery. She was always a very loving mom but when isolated, I think it was hard to find any love for herself.”

He added:

“In the world of recovery, there can be a moment where you feel, like, ‘I can’t keep living this way.’ And I think that is what finally occurred. Now I see an enormous amount of hope. So to me this last chapter where she wants to live, wants to get sober, wants to learn, I think it’s a miracle. I think it’s beautiful. I’ve never been more proud to be her son. She’s full of love and full of heart.”

The 37-year-old continued:

“She is learning to be with herself and find some love for herself. It’s been hard but it’s been beautiful and it’s a miracle to behold. All I ask her every day is just to try. I think we’re both really lucky to have gotten this chance.”

So sweet. Tatum is so lucky to have such a supportive family. And she’s going to continue fighting for them. She explained:

“Every day I am trying. I want to be with my beautiful three kids.”

As of now, the actress noted, “I still can’t really read and write yet,” but that she plans to take her recovery “a day at a time.” Watch more (below):

Our hearts are with Tatum and her family. We hope to see her make a full recovery. Share your support in the comments down below.

[Image via FayesVision/WENN]

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Jul 05, 2023 12:07pm PDT