“Days of Our Lives” Star Greg Vaughan Hospitalized After Health Scare: 'My Lungs Were Full of Fluid'

The actor shared the harrowing details of his trip to the Colorado Rockies with his Instagram followers

<p>Greg Vaughan/Instagram</p> Greg Vaughan via Instagram

Greg Vaughan/Instagram

Greg Vaughan via Instagram

Greg Vaughan is in recovery after being diagnosed with severe altitude sickness.

On Thursday, the Days of Our Lives alum, 50, shared in an Instagram post that he had been hospitalized and diagnosed with altitude sickness after traveling to Colorado for his sons’ spring break vacation.

“Life is like a box of chocolates, ‘you never know whatcha gonna get!’” Vaughan joking began his lengthy caption, making a reference to Forrest Gump. “I’ve said more than a few times, I truly feel like I work & live in a Soap Opera!”

According to the actor, who has been regular on Days of Our Lives since 2012, he took his sons to Breckenridge, Colorado, for a skiing and snowboarding trip for their spring break. But he began feeling tired, developing headaches and congestion and experiencing shortness of breath after just one day out in the snowy mountains.

<p>Greg Vaughan/Instagram</p> Greg Vaughan via Instagram

Greg Vaughan/Instagram

Greg Vaughan via Instagram

“I had [hydrated] all day, so into the night I drank a bottle of Pedialyte and NyQuil’d myself out to be ready to tackle BRECK w/the boys the next morning!” he wrote, alongside two photos of himself in a hospital bed.

Much to Vaughan’s dismay, the over-the-counter remedies didn’t help much — he wasn’t able to sleep from coughing and “my head felt like it was in a walnut cracker!”

Eventually, he conceded to his sickness and decided to stay in for the day. After another night of congestion and sickness, the actor and model realized that he needed to head to urgent care, he wrote.

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“To my shock I learned that I was experiencing severe altitude sickness! My Blood Oxygen was at 54% & my lungs were full of fluids!” he shared.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, altitude sickness occurs when a person’s body has trouble adjusting to a new high altitude environment, because “breathing in the same amount of air gets you less oxygen than at a lower altitude.” Per the CDC, a person’s normal blood oxygen level — or the number of hemoglobin carrying oxygen in the body’s red blood cells — should be 95% or higher.

In another follow-up post, Vaughan shared a photo of his Apple Watch screen that showed he now had a 94% blood oxygen level.

“Well, 4hrs later, a couple of bags of IV & oxygen tank strapped to my face, I was told that I needed to immediately get off the mountain!” he wrote, joking that he couldn’t leave just yet because he and his sons still had a few days of their vacation left.

Related: Retiree Dies from Altitude Sickness While Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro: 'A Great Man' 

“In all seriousness, no matter your age, and all the times I’ve ⛷️ & 🏂 in my lifetime, Colorado Rockies is no joke!” Vaughan finished his post. “As they say, ‘take a breathe and smell the roses!’ That is truly something we need to remember & appreciate! #recoveryinprogress #myadventures 🙏🏻🤘🏼👊🏼”

According to the CDC, Colorado ski resorts are a common place for travelers to get altitude sickness, especially if the lodgings are at 8,000–10,000 feet above sea level. The best way to combat getting sick, the organization noted, is to slowly ascend over three to five days and adjust “their itineraries to avoid going ‘too high too fast.’ ”

Related: Greg Vaughan Is Leaving Days of Our Lives After 8 Years on the Show

Vaughan, who recently got engaged to Rizzoli & Isles actress Angie Harmon, shares his three sons with his ex-wife and Dutch model-actress, Touriya Haoud.

In 2020, he announced that he would be leaving Days of Our Lives. Although episodes featuring the actor, who also recurred on Queen Sugar, were taped far in advance, and new episodes with his character are still being released.

"I’ve finished my reign at Days," Vaughan said on a podcast in 2020.

“For all my Days fans that are listening, I love you all... it's never over, so I'm not gonna say it's over. I’m taking a break, if you will,” he said at the time. “Days was going through a renewal negotiation and not knowing where they were going to go. I just felt my time was coming to an end anyways.”

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