Bam Margera Claims He Was Pronounced Dead In December
The professional skater-turned-professional prankster gave a candid account of his recent brush with death on a new episode of Steve-O's Wild Ride Podcast.
Former professional skater and notorious Jackass prankster Bam Margera claims he was pronounced dead in December after COVID and a series of seizures left his life hanging in the balance. Speaking with former Jackass collaborator Steve-O on the latest episode of the Steve-O's Wild Ride podcast, the Viva La Bam star explained how he nearly lost his life. Surprisingly, no wild pranks or dangerous stunts were involved.
"Basically, I was pronounced dead on December 8," Margera told Steve-O during the January 5 episode, adding, "I did not know that I had gnarly COVID and my body was shutting down."
The 43-year-old former MTV star went on to explain that he went into a series of five seizures, each of them reportedly lasting "10 to 20 minutes.""On the fourth one, I bit my tongue so hard it was nearly falling off," Margera continued. "It got so swollen and puffy it wouldn't fit in my mouth. I was drinking the infected blood, which gave me pneumonia as well."It's likely Margera means that he aspirated the blood for his tongue, compounding the pneumonia brewing from a COVID infection Margera wasn't aware he had. His fifth seizure occurred after he'd been admitted to the hospital, at which point he was intubated.
"I woke up five days later thinking I was there for just a couple hours," Bam explained to Steve-O. "I spent eight days in there."
Steve-O recalled fearing that Margera wouldn't recover, concerned that the intubation was the final chapter of a downward spiral that had begun with the death of Margera's co-star and childhood friend, Ryan Dunn. Dunn and another passenger died in a fiery, high-speed car crash early on the morning of June 20, 2011. Margera and those close to him have cited Dunn's death as the beginning of a dark period in the skater's life that saw him gain weight, become addicted to alcohol, and ultimately, be removed from the cast of Jackass Forever after breaking a "wellness clause" in his contract.
At the time, this caused strife between Margera and his co-stars, Steve-O and Johnny Knoxville, who were also long-time friends of Margera's. Margera even filed a lawsuit over his firing in August 2022, as the sobriety agreement hadn't technically been broken (Margera had been fired for taking Adderall, a substance which he had been legally prescribed for a decade).
But it seems all of that is water under the bridge now, as the lawsuit was later settled, and the rest of the episode features the two friends fondly sharing memories of the many times Steve-O visited Margera in the various rehab programs he's entered over the years. The two also discussed Margera's current goal: getting back on his board. Margera has spent recent years overseas (mainly in Barcelona), visiting with friends, getting sober, and relearning to skate. Vice documented his efforts in a 2017 episode of the Epicly Later'd series, which was recently uploaded to YouTube.
"What happens is I twist my ankle or some s---, and then I'm out again, and then I have to re-learn everything," Margera said near the end of the episode. "It's so frustrating."
Ever the (somewhat surprising) voice of reason, Steve-O--who has overcome addiction issues of his own--advised Margera to separate his self-worth from his skating abilities.
"I would urge you to be very careful about tying your happiness, your self-esteem--like, y'know, your mental health--to your ability to skateboard," Steve-O stated, with Margera nodding in agreement.
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