Ashton Kutcher talks about the moment his brother almost lost his life

Tearful Ashton Kutcher reveals he considered jumping from a balcony so he could donate his heart to his critically ill twin brother: ‘I told my parents to take my heart’

  • Ashton recalled how his twin – who has cerebral palsy – almost died after developing an enlarged heart
  • Appearing on Paramount+’s The Checkup With Dr. David Agus alongside Michael, Ashton said he considered sacrificing himself so Michael could live
  • He said: ‘I’m thinking to myself, “If anyone’s a match, I’m a match.” 
  • ‘Now you start running that cycle through your head. You’re like, “This balcony looks far enough to take things’
  • Michael’s life was saved  when he received an organ donor match  in 24 hours 

Ashton Kutcher has revealed he contemplated taking his own life by jumping off a balcony so he could donate his heart to his critically-ill twin brother Michael.

Appearing on Paramount+’s The Checkup With Dr. David Agus alongside Michael, the tearful actor, 44, discussed how his twin – who has cerebral palsy – developed a flu-like illness in the eighth grade, and a week later was rushed to the emergency room where it was found he had an enlarged heart.

Michael was given three to four weeks to live without a transplant, but his situation became critical after he crashed and this dropped to just 48 hours to live without a transplant. 

Ashton was immediately take to his brother’s bedside, saying of the harrowing moment: ‘I was at my friend’s house, suddenly my dad picks me up and is like, “You’re going to go see your brother.” 

https://youtube.com/watch?v=JLDVO7VCAas%3Frel%3D0%26showinfo%3D1%26hl%3Den-US

Emotional: Ashton Kutcher has revealed he contemplated taking his own life by jumping off a balcony so he could donate his heart to his critically-ill twin brother Michael 

‘In hindsight you realize, they want me to see him because they don’t know where this is going. I go in the room and I’m like, “Whoa! Everything’s not OK.”  He flatlines in the room… They’re grabbing me and they take me out.”

‘I’m thinking to myself, “If anyone’s a match, I’m a match.” ‘Now you start running that cycle through your head. You’re like, “This balcony looks far enough to take things.'”

Dr Agus told ET: ‘Ashton went to his parents and said, “Take my heart.’ “He said it truthfully. He really wanted to give it to his brother.’

‘The person he loved most in the world, his brother, [was] going through this and he wasn’t able to… just push [Michael] along. He had helped his brother with cerebral palsy and some social issues at school, but now here’s an issue that he can’t fix.’

Awful: Appearing on Paramount+’s The Checkup With Dr. David Agus with Michael, the tearful actor, 44, discussed how his twin – who has cerebral palsy – developed a flu-like illness in the eighth grade

Sacrifice: ‘I’m thinking to myself, “If anyone’s a match, I’m a match.” ‘Now you start running that cycle through your head. You’re like, “This balcony looks far enough to take things.’

Ashton added: ‘I think standing on the balcony going, “I’m a match”, that moment is probably the exact moment the shift took place.

‘Where I’m like, “How do I get to be this lucky? And my brother to be born with cerebral palsy, then have a heart transplant, then have this random blood clot… Who has to go through that? How do I get to be this lucky?'”

‘There was a moment in all of this where I moved to New York and was starting to get some traction with my career and Mike came out to visit and stay and he looked at me and he said, “Every time you feel sorry for me, you make me less. This is the only life I’ve ever known, so stop feeling sorry for the only thing I have.”

‘That then created an entire shift back to where I think we are today, which is we’re straight up equals again. That’s it.’

Emotional: Ashton discussed his own health issues with vasculitis in the new interview

Michael’s life was saved when an organ donor match was found in 24 hours and he received a heart transplant. 

He developed a blood clot two years later and underwent open heart surgery.

The pair admitted there had been jealousy between them when Ashton was living in New York City and rising to fame as an actor, with Michael saying: ‘There was a moment when I viewed him as receiving more attention than I was and that kind of drove me down to a place where I was jealous.

‘It really affected me in terms of my own self-worth. It goes back to trying to figure out who I am.’

Ashton added: ‘It’s so easy to believe the good things people are saying about you and start to onboard that as who you are as a person. Frankly, I was just an a**hole for a while.’

The pair eventually had a ‘moment of reckoning and realization where we decided to tear down the walls that we had built that were all a product of these variable circumstances.

Michael said: ‘Once we kind of got together, we talked through that and I realized he’s still my brother. The world may view him differently, but I know him. He’s still my brother and he hasn’t changed and he never will change. Once I took all of the fame and everything out of it, I was able to come back to him.’

Kutcher disclosed his brother’s cerebral palsy diagnoses during an interview in 2003, which Michael was ‘angry’ about at the time.

Twins: Michael’s life was saved when an organ donor match was found in 24 hours and he received a heart transplant; The brothers pictured in 2013

However in 2021 he shared: ‘[Ashton] did me the biggest favor he’s ever done because he allowed me to be myself.’

While speaking with Dr. Agus, Kutcher also opened up about his own health struggle with vasculitis – an autoimmune disease.

‘When you have this face to face with death you instantly lock in to what are you doing with today,’ he shared.

Traumatic: The actor described the moment his brother’s heart flatlined in the hospital with tears in his eyes: ‘And he flatlines in the room… and I’m like, what the hell is going [on]?’

Okay now: Kutcher disclosed his brother’s cerebral palsy diagnoses during an interview in 2003, which Michael was ‘angry’ about at the time. However in 2021 he shared: ‘[Ashton] did me the biggest favor he’s ever done because he allowed me to be myself’; Pictured 2013

Kutcher’s episode on The Checkup With Dr. David Agus will premiere on Dec. 6 on Paramount Plus. 

The actor originally revealed that he is ‘lucky to be alive’ on an episode of Running Wild with Bear Grylls: The Challenge.

He explained that the autoimmune disorder left him unable to hear, see or walk. ‘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 said.

Mila Kunis’ husband added that he was able to ‘fully recover’ from the disease, but that it took him a year to ‘build it all back up.’ 

Health: Kutcher also opened up about his own health struggle with vasculitis, saying ‘When you have this face to face with death you instantly lock in to what are you doing with today’

According to the Mayo Clinic, vasculitis involves the inflammation of the blood vessels causing the walls to thicken, reducing the width of the passageway through the vessel.  

If blood flow is restricted, organ and tissue damage can occur. There are many types of vasculitis, and most of them are rare.

According to Kutcher, his harrowing experience with vasculitis, though scary, gave him a new-found appreciation for his health and his senses, explaining that he hadn’t ever truly realized how essential they were, until he lost them.

Opening up: The actor originally revealed that he is ‘lucky to be alive’ on an episode of Running Wild with Bear Grylls: The Challenge, where he disclosed his struggle with the autoimmune disorder that left him unable to hear, see or walk for a period of time

‘You don’t really appreciate it, until it’s gone,’ admitted the human rights activist.

‘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.”‘

Kutcher did not specify when exactly his medical issues began, however the actor maintained a relatively low profile during the pandemic lockdown, sharing just a few Instagram posts from the home he shares with Kunis, 38, while the pair were quarantining with their children. 

Low profile: Though he didn’t specify when his medical issues began, Kutcher maintained a low profile during the pandemic, as he quarantined with wife Mila Kunis, 38, and their two kids; Pictured 2022

The condition that could have cost Ashton Kutcher his sight: What is vasculitis and how is it treated? 

  • Vasculitis, also sometimes referred to as angiitis or arteritis, are conditions that cause a person’s blood vessels to become inflamed
  • Nearly 230,000 Americans suffer from some form of vasculitis 
  • There are a few potential causes, including an auto-immune condition, allergic reactions or an infection of some kind
  • Types of vasculitis are split into three categories, large, medium and small. The distinction is based on the size of vessels that have become inflamed 
  • Typical symptoms include fever, fatigue, muscle pain and severe weight loss 
  • In most severe cases it can cause an aneurysm, or even the bursting of a blood vessel. Either case can prove to be deadly
  • It can also lead to tissue death if a vessel becomes so inflamed that it blocks to flow of blood to a part of the body 
  • In some cases, vasculitis will resolve itself
  • Common treatments include steroid therapy that fights inflammation 

Source: WebMD and The Vasculitis Foundation

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