“Duck Dynasty” star Jep Robertson is grateful to be alive today, telling ABC News in his first interview since a seizure nearly killed him that exactly what happened remains a medical mystery.
Robertson, the baby brother of the Duck Commander flock, collapsed while he was out deer hunting with friends in a remote section of woods in Louisiana on Oct. 19.
“I reached to get my bow and that’s kind of the last I remember,” the 36-year-old told ABC News in an interview at his home in Monroe, Louisiana. “I just crumpled to the ground and they said I had a seizure for like five minutes.”
“I thought I was a goner,” he said.
Because he was in such a remote area, it took EMTs nearly two hours to get to him. His brother, Willie Robertson, who happened to be hunting nearby, rushed to his side.
“It took them about an hour and a half to two hours before the ambulance got there,” said Jep Robertson’s wife, Jessica Robertson.
Doctors sedated Jep Robertson in the intensive care unit. He remained on a ventilator for four days, and even had to be tied down to his bed. Robertson didn’t even remember his mother, who’s known as Miss Kay on the hit show, ABC News has learned.
“The time I remember is Thursday -- waking up Thursday, looking around, asking Jess, ‘What are we doing in the hospital?’” he said. “I had no idea what had happened four days before.”
Doctors still can’t figure out what happened to Robertson, even after performing a spinal tap, an EEG and CT scan.
“They think it was mix between meningitis and encephalitis,” said Robertson, who was discharged from the hospital Monday. “For the last month, I’ve mispronounced words and I didn’t know why I did it, but I think it was leading up to the seizure.”
Seizures aren’t uncommon. About 150,000 adults have their first seizures every year, and one in 10 people will have one in their lifetime, according to the Epilepsy Foundation of America.
While he was in the hospital, Robertson showed that his sense of humor wasn’t affected by his medical issues. He tweeted out a photo of his himself lying in his hospital bed in a similar pose to actor Steven Seagal from one of the actor’s movies. The caption read: “Just like Steven Seagal, I’m hard to kill.”
Robertson can’t wait to go hunting again. However, he has to wait for “at least a month ... and I’m mad about it, I’m real mad about it,” he said.