R-Truth's brave battle: Overcoming infection with high-stakes knee surgery

“I mean, I had a hole in my knee. A hole. I had five different bacteria’s that caused an infection along with MRSA, staph, and their cousins and kinfolks."- he said.

by Sead Dedovic
R-Truth's brave battle: Overcoming infection with high-stakes knee surgery
© Cindy Ord / Getty Images Sport

Speaking to the "Cheap Heat" podcast, R-Truth talked about a serious quad injury last year. The situation was quite chaotic, and things could have become very dangerous for him. In those moments, R-Truth had fear about his career, but also many other thoughts were running through his head in those moments. R-Truth didn't realize the severity of his condition until he realized he had an infection. The doctors warned him of the seriousness of the situation and the possible consequences it could have. R-Truth realized in the conversation with them that he had to take his situation seriously.

“I mean, I had a hole in my knee. A hole. I had five different bacteria’s that caused an infection along with MRSA, staph, and their cousins and kinfolks. It started off as a routine quad tear. As a matter of fact, I tore my bottom quad. And they went in — I guess it could have happened during surgery — but I went to get the stitches out and that’s when we found out that the bacteria, the infection, was eating from the inside out, so that’s where the hole came from. I just remember the doctor never would give me a high-five. He was like, ‘We gotta get this under control. If we can’t get this under control, I’m gonna have to think of the options.’ He was straight shooting with me: ‘You’re in the woods big time. We have to get this under control.’ Like, it wouldn’t heal. It would not heal.”- he said, as quoted by ewrestlingnews.com

R-Truth© Jason Merritt / Getty Images Sport

During his recovery, R-Truth faced a challenging three-month treatment using a wound VAC, a device designed to aid blood circulation in his knee. This process involved wearing the device for six weeks along with a PICC line for eight weeks. 

Unexpectedly, issues arose as the stitches started coming out on their own, leading to a third surgery. Despite these efforts, the infection persisted, requiring another round with a PICC line. This difficult period lasted around four to five months, with a primary focus on managing the infection.

R-Truth probably understood what it was all about then. However, he knew that he had to remain brave and fight his situation. His only hope was the doctors, and he was optimistic that they would solve the problem.

The mental toll was significant, with medical professionals hinting at the potential seriousness, including the possibility of amputation. This challenging phase prompted R-Truth to reconsider priorities, highlighting a contrast to his usual routine that involved active participation in events, family time, and professional engagements.  Then he realized that many things can change in a short period. R-Truth realized that he now lives a completely different life, and that health must be the priority of every man.

The unexpected change made R-Truth really think about how fragile our health can be and how it's crucial to take a step back and reconsider what's most important in life.

R-Truth on WWE 24/7 title run

In a recent "Busted Open Radio" podcast, R-Truth shared memories of his impressive 53-time reign as the WWE 24/7 Champion over three years. Mick Foley introduced the title in May 2019, and it was retired in November 2022. R-Truth recalled that he was surprised when asked to do a promo on RAW, where Mick Foley revealed the WWE 24/7 Championship, initially considered "ugly" by many.  These are moments that R-Truth remembers with nostalgia, and there were many of them. R-Truth has done great things in his career.

During his time as the champion, R-Truth shared that the night he first won the title was really exciting. He felt a rush of excitement beating Bobby Roode for the championship. R-Truth likes being funny, and he enjoyed having the chance to make people laugh during this period. 

This is one of the reasons why he became part of the wrestling world. He wanted to leave his mark, he wanted to be remembered for his charismatic quality and many other positive characteristics. R-Truth was delighted to realize his dream.

He saw the 24/7 Title as a place where he could be creative and have fun. He mentioned working with writers to come up with entertaining ideas that resonated well with the audience. R-Truth is a creative person himself, and he had many ideas in those moments. He wanted to do great things and fulfill the expectations of the audience.

R-Truth pointed out that there weren't strict rules for the 24/7 Title, and if there were any, they intentionally broke them. He believed that their unconventional approach made the whole experience enjoyable for the fans.  The fans certainly enjoyed those moments, given that they were treated to something they did not expect.