How Montel Williams survived potentially deadly stroke

The longtime TV host speaks out for the first time about surviving the stroke, which he had while he was working out.
6:15 | 10/11/18

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Transcript for How Montel Williams survived potentially deadly stroke
Now to our "Gma" cover story. It is special. Longtime TV host Montel Williams is opening up about surviving a rare potentially deadly stroke. He had this while we're going to talk to Montel live in just a moment but first his story. ?????? for 17 seasons, millions tuned in to watch Montel Williams host his namesake show. "The Montel Williams show." The talk show earning Montel an Emmy award. I have to thank the academy and all of my peers for recognizing what we are trying to do at "The Montel Williams show." Reporter: The 62-year-old is a proud military veteran and active fitness enthusiast. After overdoing it at the gym he suffered from a severe stroke. Williams sharing on Twitter that during a workout back in may, he heard a loud noise and the whole room started to kaleidoscope. It was then he realized he was having a stroke. The veteran talk show host spending 21 days in intensive care. This image showing the peach-size bleeding in his brain. Williams suffered a sear bell Lahr hemorrhagic stroke, an extremely rare type of stroke that can be up to 40% more deadly than other strokes and most patients who survive it have long and difficult recoveries. Today Montel is on that road to recovery grateful to just be alive. And please welcome Montel Williams. And you are a warrior. Going through this. Diagnosed with Ms in 1999. Absolutely. How are you? It's crazy. It was one of those things and I got to thank you for letting me come on. It's a warning I want to send out to people who are type a personalities like me. You know, you're pushing all the time. I'm one of these guys that thought at this age I had a right to have an eight-pack so working out in the gym like a 25-year-old. I was traveling three cities a week and I happened to be in a hotel here in New York going to do a conference as a keynote speaker and I was in the gym pushing one of those workouts and I had a 60-pound dumbbell doing 30 reps and stood up and heard this pop and realized I'm the only person in the gym soy how was there a pop and looked to the left to figure out what happened and when I came back this way the whole room was a blur. A kaleidoscope and a wave of like super tired went over me and what was crazy, maybe about a month before I was watching Dr. Oz and I saw an episode on stroke. And I remembered the left side of my mouth but right side of my mouth I started drooling almost immediately and so all those symptoms registered in my brain, I went, don't -- I had a you know what stroke. No, I didn't. Yeah, I did and then I sat down on the bench and then I remembered listening to the words from the show, don't go to sleep and don't lay down. What did you do? I couldn't -- I could barely move. I stood up and grabbed onto the walls, I had the wall walk about 50 yards to the elevator, hit the elevator. I was on the second floor, went up to the 14th floor, got my key in the door, when I walked in the door I fell on to the couch and started screaming for my wife, I said call an ambulance right now. Tell them your husband just had a stroke. If she had not been in that room, I would be dead today. Amen. She called and said, in this entire country, there are only two emergency vehicles that are equipped for stroke. No New York City they both exist, the New York fire department runs them. One of them was three blocks away. Come on. I kid you not. Oh, my god. They were able to diagnose -- Wait, watch this. That's the coo he. They were there and in six minutes I'm in front of my hotel in the emergency vehicle. They did a C.A.T. Scan in the street, two seconds later I'm talking to a doctor from new york-presbyterian on a screen and said, Mr. Williams, you did just have a stroke and it's still going on. Now, guess what, robin. Had they not figured that out at that second, most people have what's called Ang ischemic stroke. I had a hemorrhagic stroke. Had they treated me the way you have an ischemic stroke I would have bled out. Because they recognized what it was they were able to rush me to new york-presbyterian. I spent six days in intensive care where my wife left on a gurney 24 hours beside me. Only thing I can remember -- I can't even remember what happened in those six days because I couldn't move or talk but I could hear her say I love you before I went to sleep and I love you when I woke up. And that's what kept me going. You had the rehab that you had to go through. I went through intensive rehab. I started it at new york-presbyterian. Who would think my wife is from a little town called Jackson, Tennessee. I know where that is. They have one of the best stroke rehab centers in the country. I happened to go down there for six weeks to recover and you know one thing I want to tell people, we don't talk about stroke in this country. We don't because when it happens everybody is kind of embarrassed. They don't want to say anything about it. But you get out of it what you put in. I went to a physical therapist by the name of par Riley would literally when I went in the center on a scale of 1 to 100 I was a 51. He said to me what do you want to get out of this? I said I want to be able to snowboard. I want my life back so he pushed me every single day for six weeks. You pushed yourself. I pushed myself. Again, knowing what I put in is what I'll get out so, you know, that's what I want to tell people. You don't have -- I could be now left with a whole bunch of residual symptoms that had I not worked as hard as I did, I would not have overcome and I've overcome enough I went back to work. "Military makeover." Brand-new show called "Military makeover" where we find veterans who own their homes but give them a deserving makeover on their home from top to bottom and did a family last week, incredible family, inspiration of resilience beyond belief. Like you, my friend. Thank you for sharing your story.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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