'I was a mess': 'Succession' star Alan Ruck reveals he nearly died of blood infection

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Alan Ruck attends the European premiere of season 3 of 'Succession' television series at the Royal Festival Hall during the 65th BFI London Film Festival in London, United Kingdom on October 15, 2021.
Actor Alan is opening up about his experience with blood poisoning. (Photo by Wiktor Szymanowicz/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Alan Ruck is opening up about his "ferocious" near-death experience.

In an interview on WTF Podcast with Marc Maron, the "Succession" star recalled contracting a blood infection in 2001 that he feels "lucky" to have survived. The now 65-year-old began by explaining that he still doesn't know how he managed to contract blood poisoning — but that it was debilitating. 

“They still don’t know how it happened, but I got blood poisoning,” he said. “I got a streptococcal type G infection in my blood. And all I knew is we were filming like the last show before Christmas and I felt like I was going to die."

"I just had the worst headache of my life. My whole body hurt. I didn’t know what was going on. I had a fever. I had chills. I was a mess" Ruck detailed.

He added that he felt "delirious" trying to navigate his way home that day, and after finally making it to his apartment, he had to stop in the lobby to lay down for a moment. 

“I just felt like hell, so I just laid down in the lobby,” he said. “And people were walking over me, just like, ‘Oh, drunk,’” he explained.

After waking up, he said he stumbled outside his apartment building, where he found his wife, before collapsing.

Actor Alan Ruck arrives at the premiere for the Third series on TV show 'Succession' during the BFI film festival in London, Britain October 15, 2021. REUTERS/Toby Melville
Actor Alan Ruck arrives at the premiere for the third series on TV show "Succession" during the BFI film festival in London. (Photo by REUTERS/Toby Melville)

“I just collapsed and she called 911,” he said. “The next thing I know, I hear — that was like three days before Christmas — the next thing I know, people are going, ‘5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Happy New Year!’"

"I was out for like nine days. I had lost 35 pounds," he continued. "My kidneys had stopped working. I got this ferocious infection in my bloodstream.”

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The “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” said that he still has no idea how he became infected. 

“To this day they don’t know how I got it. But, anyway, I got this horrible infection in my bloodstream, shut down my kidneys, shot little pieces of crap up into my brain,” he said. "So, for two days, they were like, ‘He’s not going to make it’ and then, after two days, I was hanging in there and they were like, ‘OK, it looks like he’s going to pull through, but he’s not going to be right upstairs.’ And then I started to regain some clarity and I wasn’t any dumber than I was before when I got sick.”

Doctors anticipated that Ruck would need to remain on dialysis for the rest of his life — but he said he's "lucky" to have regained full kidney function.

Blood poisoning is often caused by bacteria from another infection somewhere in the body entering the bloodstream. The bacteria in the blood is referred to as bacteremia, septicemia, or sepsis.

Symptoms of sepsis include "chills, moderate or high fever, weakness, rapid breathing, increased heart rate or palpitations, and paleness of the skin, especially in the face." In extreme cases, it can cause "confusion, red spots on the skin that may grow larger and look like a big, purple bruise, shock, little to no urine production, and organ failure."

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