Verne Troyer Shares Frightening Story Of How He Nearly Died As An Infant

"He lifted up the blanket and my shirt, and my whole chest was caved in..."

“Austin Powers” star Verne Troyer, who was born with dwarfism, faced a frightening brush with death when he was just two months old.

As the actor tells “Oprah: Where Are They Now?” in this weekend’s upcoming interview, he grew up in an Amish family in a very small town in Michigan. Prior to the Troyers leaving the Amish lifestyle when he was about a year old, the family found themselves in a terrifying situation. 

“My dad got home from work and he checked up on me, and I was all blue,” Troyer says. “He lifted up the blanket and my shirt, and my whole chest was caved in. They called it ‘cradle death, and all you need is oxygen for a little while, but we were Amish at the time.” 

Verne Troyer as a child.
Verne Troyer as a child.

Being Amish, Troyer’s family didn’t have a quick way to get to the local hospital. Luckily, an aunt who had left the Amish lifestyle had a car and was able to transport the sick infant.

Once at the hospital, however, doctors delivered a grim prognosis. “The doctor said... ‘You can hold him for as long as you can, but we can’t do anything for him,’” Troyer recalls.

Troyer’s father wouldn’t accept that answer, so he took his son to another facility in a desperate attempt to save his life. “They took me to a hospital that was, like, an hour away,” Troyer says. “[Doctors] just put me in an oxygen tank, and I recovered.

“That’s kind of trivia,” he continues. “I haven’t really told anybody about that.”

Troyer opens up more about his personal life and career on this weekend’s “Oprah: Where Are They Now?”, airing Saturday at 10 p.m. ET on OWN. You can also watch full episodes on demand via the Watch OWN app.

Another star with a near-death childhood experience:



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