AceShowbiz - Whoopi Goldberg made an unexpected return to U.S. TV on Thursday, March 14, for the first time since she was struck down with a near-fatal bout of double pneumonia.
The "Ghost" star has been absent from her long-running role as a co-host on daytime talk show "The View" for weeks, and last Friday, March 08, she sent in a video message, explaining how close she had come to losing her life after battling pneumonia in both lungs, as well as sepsis - a potentially deadly complication of an infection.
"I came very, very close to leaving the earth," she told fans in the clip. "Good news, I didn't."
"Thank you for all of your good wishes. All of the wonderful things that people have been saying. Even people who are not huge fans of mine have actually said nice things about me. We all know that's going to change when I get back, but for right now, it's brilliant."
Whoopi, who is still not fully recovered, is back on her feet, and she stopped by "The View" on Thursday to surprise her fellow presenters and the studio audience to share an update on her health.
Her unplanned appearance won her a standing ovation and cheers from fans, as she was warmly welcomed with hugs by each of her co-hosts.
"This is my first foray out," she said, once the excitement died down. "I'm not there yet... I still have a cough, and that's the last thing to go apparently, but over the next week and a half I will start to be here more often, but I wanted my first foray to be to come see y'all, because I really kinda missed y'all!"
Whoopi went on to explain that she had spent three weeks in hospital, before urging viewers to pay close attention to their health, as she had been brushing off a niggling cough since November, and only decided to seek treatment earlier this year.
"This is a cautionary tale for all of us...," she said. "The scariest moment was hearing my doctor say to me, 'You do realise how close to death you were?' That was like, 'Er, no, actually I hadn't thought of it!'"
The 63-year-old also gave a shout out to her fans and the paparazzi at TMZ for not trying to track her down in hospital.