Duane “Dog the Bounty Hunter” Chapman has experienced a great deal of loss this year, after losing his wife to cancer, suffering a break-in at one of his stores and trying to figure out his new normal.
While sources suggested that the bounty hunter might have experienced a heart attack, it looks like the cause may have been something else — something with current and lasting consequences.
“I can confirm Dog is under doctor’s care and is resting comfortably,” a source told TMZ in mid-September. “Thank you for all of your well wishes – keep ’em coming.”
Since then, an interview with Dr. Oz has uncovered the real culprit, what the diagnosis means and how seriously Dog needs to take this new threat.
Doctors discovered that a blood clot or clots had found their way into Chapman’s lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism — a life-threatening condition that can quickly kill someone if not dealt with properly and immediately.
“You’re a ticking time bomb,” Dr. Oz told the bounty hunter, according to People. “You’re not going to be here with the heart the way it is right now.”
“Fear of death is normal. I’m surprised you don’t fear death when you’re chasing after convicts. But when you run away from the doctor, that means you have to do your own doctoring.”
Chapman told Dr. Oz that when his wife passed away, he no longer feared death. He realized, after this most recent health scare, that while he still didn’t fear death, he certainly didn’t want to die just yet.
“I hesitated for a minute thinking, I don’t want to have to go through this again,” he told People. “I don’t want to die right now. I’m not afraid to die anymore, but I really didn’t care for a while if something would happen. I do care now.”
Still, the doctor accused Chapman of “denying care that he knew would be life saving” before he finally made a decision to take better care of himself and avoid a repeat incident.
“[Duane] was fearful,” the doctor told People. “Beth had been his north star. She was the one that would go with him and keep him balanced so he could deal with these things. Losing her took away his biggest support.”
Dr. Oz knew what to say to reach the bounty hunter, though, and brought his late wife into the discussion.
“I said, ‘What would Beth do,'” he added. “‘What would she say to you? I don’t think she’d be happy with what you’re doing. You’re throwing away your life, you’re throwing away your ability to parent your kids. You have to man up.’ That’s what she would say.”
Thankfully, Duane decided to shape up and take the diagnosis seriously. He’s eating better, taking medication and smoking less.
“Once this goes away, I am 100 percent,” he said. “I’ve had fears. The blood clot is not a normal thing but it happens a lot, but I’m going to be 100 percent. I’m encouraged by it.”
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