Fox News host Neil Cavuto reflected on his open-heart surgery this week, exactly one year after he was told he could “drop dead” at any moment and needed to go under the knife immediately.
“What strikes me now, a year later, is how out of it I was. Not just out of commission, out of everyday life,” Cavuto said on his show “Your World with Neil Cavuto” Wednesday night.
“I discovered something … life was going on. The news was going on. The Republican convention, the Democratic convention, even the stuff here at Fox, they were all going on, just without me.”
Cavuto, who missed the entire summer of 2016 while recovering, said he used to take for granted that he would be the one covering the news.
“It humbled me,” he said. “Imagine that, watching from afar a fast-moving world … for which my absence seemed very inconsequential.”
Cavuto’s thanked viewers who stood by him, joking “even liberals,” calling his supporters “superheroes.”
“I might have the scar, but you were the ones who showed the heart,” he said.
Roughly one year ago, Cavuto was diagnosed with the “widow maker,” which is a scary way of describing complete closure of the left anterior descending (LAD) coronary artery.
Last year, Cavuto told TheWrap he didn’t think he would ever return to television. He was talking about complications associated with the “widow maker” diagnosis, combined with multiple sclerosis and a cancer in remission, that nearly ended his distinguished career.
Initially, the veteran broadcaster had chest pains, fatigue and trouble breathing, but assumed it was his multiple sclerosis advancing. A routine stress test revealed he needed bypass surgery.
“I had low cholesterol if you can believe it, because my food pyramid consists of Italian sausage and cannoli,” Cavuto joked in September. “As I was doing the stress test, I noticed all these guys in white lab coats descending on me. I though, ‘This is weird.'”
The doctors flagged something and checked Cavuto into the hospital immediately. In fact, doctors wanted to perform the bypass the very same day, delaying the procedure only when it became apparent just how sick Cavuto actually was.
“You can go at any minute,” Cavuto said as he snapped his fingers for effect. “It was a scary time.”
Cavuto calls having cancer, M.S. and open-heart surgery the “hat trick,” and said doctors don’t believe the illnesses are related. However, radiation that he received during treatment for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma years ago could have contributed to his heart issues.
Luckily for viewers, the dreaded “hat trick” hasn’t kept him off the air.
Check out the video above.