Penn Badgley says his mother had to resuscitate him every day as a baby: ‘My heart and lungs would stop’

Penn Badgley says his mother had to resuscitate him every day as a baby: ‘My heart and lungs would stop’

Penn Badgley has opened up about the many health problems he experienced as a premature baby.

He You star recently appeared in an episode of the HypochondriaActor podcast with will and grace actor Sean Hayes and Dr. Priyanka Wali. Badgley, 36, revealed that he was born two months premature and, as a result, his mother required resuscitation “several times a day” for the first year of his life.

“The first two weeks I was in a NICU [neonatal intensive care unit] because my heart and lungs would stop repeatedly throughout the day,” he explained on the podcast.

He Gossip Girl alum said doctors had to regularly revive him just weeks after he was born. His mother also had to learn how to resuscitate the newborn once he left the hospital.

“[She had to do it] several times a day because my heart and lungs would stop, and I was on a monitor that was going very loud,” Badgley shared. “The first time he had to do it was on my way home from the hospital when I was released from the NICU.”

Badgley added that his cousins ​​would tell him stories about how they would revive him during this time simply by touching him.

“I was in the back seat, you know, in a car seat hooked up to the monitor, and it would go off, and all they had to do was touch me,” he said. “Only the human touch would wake me up.”

Badgley, whose wife Domino Kirke is a doula, added that he “learned a lot” about prenatal and postpartum conditions because of his wife’s career. Although the father-of-one said his health “vanished,” he still believes his childhood health problems have affected his perspective on death.

“The effect it’s had on me, at least in an emotional way, is that I’m extremely sensitive to touch, I’ve noticed that in my life,” Badgley said. “Every time someone touches me, I am very aware of it.”

“Death doesn’t scare me, I feel like it sounds weird to say,” he continued. “There’s some aspect where I feel like there’s gravity to the early experiences I had… like I can have a mode that’s very solitary and meditative.”

Looking at his two-year-old son James, Badgley said his childhood health problems may have had a bigger impact on him than he previously thought. “If my son, who I now know so well, spent the first year of his life fading several times a day, the idea that it wouldn’t influence him is ridiculous,” he shared. “Thinking about my young son now, I realize that he really affected me. He affected my sense of what life is like, what life is not like.”

Penn Badgley and his wife Domino Kirke have been together since 2014 and tied the knot in a New York City courthouse three years later. In 2020, the couple welcomed their first child after Kirke suffered two miscarriages. The doula also shares his son Cassius Riley, 13, with his former partner and musician Morgan O’Kane.

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