Reality TV star Duane Chapman, who's better known as Dog the Bounty Hunter, suffered a “heart emergency” earlier this month but checked himself out of the hospital against doctors' advice. His friend, Dr. Oz, has now stepped in to try and help save Chapman’s life.
In an appearance on “The Dr. Oz Show” Monday, the “Dog’s Most Wanted” star learned he has a pulmonary embolism in the heart, which means one or more of his arteries has been blocked. It’s a condition that Dr. Mehmet Oz revealed is “life-threatening.”
The popular doctor made a house call to Chapman at his Denver home because the bounty hunter suffered a recent heart emergency which left him gasping for air. The health scare comes three months after his beloved wife, Beth Chapman, died of cancer.
During the house call, Chapman likened Oz to entertaining an angel as the Bible talks about. Oz replied, “God Bless you,” and then both of the men of faith proceeded to have a serious conversation about Chapman's future and health.
“You’re a ticking time bomb,” Oz bluntly told Chapman. “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,” he continued.
The TV star said he always puts his “foot in his mouth” because after the death of his wife, he declared he “wasn’t afraid of death.”
“I was afraid to die,” Chapman confessed to Oz and then said he looked to Heaven and told his wife, “Please let go of my heart, honey.”
Oz shared some additional information with PEOPLE about Chapman’s current condition.
“[Duane] was fearful,” he revealed. “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.”
“I said, ‘What would Beth do,’” Oz explained. "‘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.”
After the doctor's visit, Chapman agreed to get the help he needs for the sake of his children and family.
On the Elvis Duran radio show Monday morning, Oz said that Chapman had a “light go off” and decided to do what was right for himself.
“People have these come-to-God moments and when you see them it takes you to God ... because you realize we all have the ability to transform if we just pay attention to what’s important in life,” Oz said.
Early in September, Chapman admitted he was struggling with loneliness after the death of his wife.
In an interview with "Entertainment Tonight," Chapman talked about what his life is like now, just a few months after his beloved wife died of cancer.
He said the hardest part is being alone.
"It's really hard [being] alone. Because as soon as you get alone, bam, it hits you. So I try not to be alone," he said, adding that his children have helped to keep his mind occupied. "Sometimes they know I gotta be alone, but it hurts worse or you feel it more when you're all alone."
Beth died in July at age 51. She was first diagnosed with stage II throat cancer in September 2017. Two months later, the Chapmans publicly announced that the cancer had been completely removed. But last year, doctors informed her that the cancer had returned and was incurable after it had spread to her lungs.
The couple were married for 15 years but together a total of 31 years.