In an interview with The New York Times, Oscar-winning screenwriter and the Emmy-winning creator of The West Wing, Aaron Sorkin, revealed he suffered a near-fatal stroke last fall.
Sorkin explained to the publication that months before he began rehearsals for a Broadway revival of Camelot, he woke in the middle of the night and couldn’t walk straight down his hallway.
His doctor recommended he get checked out immediately and quickly informed Sorkin his blood pressure was so high he was “supposed to be dead.”
The 61-year-old had suffered a stroke, his doctor informed him. For weeks Sorkin slurred his words; he feared he was “never going be able to write again.” He’s still having trouble signing his name and can’t taste food.
A heavy smoker for decades, Sorkin called the health scare “a loud wake-up call.”
He admitted, “I thought I was one of those people who could eat whatever he wanted, smoke as much as he wanted, and it’s not going to affect me. Boy, was I wrong.”
He began eating right and exercising, and quit smoking cold turkey — which proved difficult for the prolific writer. “[The cigarette] was just part of it, the way a pen was part of it,” he said.
Sorkin was hesitant about revealing his health situation, but reconsidered, saying, “If it’ll get one person to stop smoking, then it’ll be helpful.”
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