Ashton Kutcher says he is “lucky to be alive” after a rare disease affected his ability to see, hear and walk.
The Two and a Half Men actor spoke about his struggle with vasculitis – a condition involving inflammation of the blood vessels – in an interview with Bear Grylls that aired on Monday night.
In the episode, Grylls asks Kutcher, 44, where his strength comes from.
Kutcher replies: “Two years ago, I had this weird, super rare form of vasculitis that, like, knocked out my vision.
“It knocked out my hearing. It knocked out, like, all my equilibrium.”
He told Grylls that it took him about a year to regain those abilities.
“You don’t really appreciate it until it’s gone, until you go, ‘I don’t know if I’m ever going to be able to see again, I don’t know if I’m ever going to be able to hear again, I don’t know if I’m ever going to be able to walk again,'” he said.
Kutcher also tweeted overnight, confirming that he “fully recovered” from the episode.
What is vasculitis and what are the effects?
Vasculitis means inflammation of the blood vessels.
Inflammation is your immune system’s natural response to injury or infection.
It causes swelling and can help the body deal with invading germs.
However in vasculitis, the immune system attacks healthy blood vessels, causing them to become swollen and narrow – according to the NHS.
This may be triggered by an infection or a medicine, but the cause is often unknown.
Vasculitis can range from a minor problem that just affects the skin, to a more serious illness that causes problems with organs like the heart or kidneys.
Kutcher, who rose to fame on comedy series That ’70s Show, has been in the news this year for his campaigning on behalf of Ukraine alongside his wife Mila Kunis.
In March he and Kunis – who was born in western Ukraine – held a video call with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as the leader thanked them for their multimillion-dollar fundraising efforts to help those fleeing the war-torn country.