It’s hard to fathom what it would be like to have lived a long and healthy life only to find that one day you were blind, deaf, and unable to walk.
Ashton Kutcher, a Hollywood A-lister, had a similar experience a few years ago, and he and his doctor just now spoke publicly about it.
Suddenly become blind, deaf, and unable to walk, Ashton Kutcher made headlines in 2019. Now he’s talking about it openly.
Kutcher opened up about his “terrifying, life-threatening” medical condition on the premiere episode of The Checkup With Dr. David Agus, a new health series on Paramount+. According to Kutcher and his doctor, Dr. Agus, he has a rare and severe autoimmune disorder that assaults and inflames the blood vessels.
“I woke up one day and was having vision issues, could hardly see. Knocked out my hearing, which threw off my equilibrium, my balance and I couldn’t walk. I had vasculitis that you’re very well aware of,” Kutcher shared in the interview.
The inflammation caused by vasculitis causes the walls of the blood vessels to become thick and narrow, reducing blood flow. The blood vessels in the ears are particularly vulnerable, thus this can cause hearing loss in addition to other complications like blood clots and organ damage.
Similarly, damage to blood vessels in the eye area might cause permanent blindness. Dr. Agus elaborated on the fact that everybody, regardless of health status, is susceptible to developing vasculitis, and that the condition can have either temporary or permanent consequences.
“There’s a standard you become accustomed to in your life, like being able to see clearly,” Kutcher explained further on his personal experience with the medical event. “And then suddenly you can’t see, like you have this occlusion and you can’t see. And then, like, ‘Why are you not f**king talking louder because I can’t hear you?’ You want to reclaim the health that you once had.”
The actor, now 44 years old, also shared with Dr. Agus the beginnings of his healing process.
“Part of it is this mental thing I have around achieving a full comeback from waking up at the hospital. I was unable to walk and I was like, wait a second, if I can go from not being able to walk to running a marathon in a three-year span, then I can let that be a part of the past and be like, ‘I’m back. I’m good,’” Kutcher said, referencing his recent New York City marathon run in November.
Michael Kutcher, Kutcher’s twin brother, has cerebral palsy. Later in the program, Michael joined Ashton for an interview, and the actor reflected on how having a sibling like Michael “gave [him] an appreciation for life that is, in some ways, an unfair advantage in life, where you go, ‘Oh wow, this is my brother. He’s my twin. We’re ‘the same,’ and you go, ‘You can die when you’re 12, right, 13?’”
As he elaborated, he said, “When you have this face to face with death at that age, you instantly lock into, ‘Let me do as much as I can while I can ’cause I don’t know when it’s going to be over. Given the fact that you have this opportunity to be alive today, what are you doing today? The values of where I’m spending my time, which tends to be with my kids. Probably the biggest shift that took place.”
Kutcher and Dr. Agus also spoke about the actor’s remarkable progress over the past few years. The actor’s wife has been a great support system, and the doctor has praised the couple’s “amazing” progress.
“I will say your wife was amazing,” Dr. Agus acknowledged at one point. “Just curled up there by your side. It was a beautiful thing to watch.”
Ashton started gushing over Mila Kunis, calling her “She’s the best” in reference to her constant support.
Ashton and Mila famously didn’t start seeing each other until 2012, despite having met in the early phases of their careers while filming That 70’s Show. They tied the knot in 2015 and are now the proud parents of twins.
While Ashton Kutcher’s experience is certainly terrifying, it serves as a reminder of the significance of having open dialogue with loved ones about potentially life-threatening medical situations.
Sending prayers to this beautiful family!