Pauley Perrette lost all feeling on the "entire right side" of her body after suffering a stroke.
The former 'NCIS' actress revealed earlier this week she'd had a "massive stroke" a year ago and she's now spoken about her ordeal in detail, admitting her doctor warned her it was doubtful she'd live if she didn't seek immediate treatment.
She told 'Entertainment Tonight': "I woke up and had no feeling on the entire right side of my body.
"At first I thought I had just slept funny. When I kept realising the extent of the numbness; couldn’t feel my finger touching my face, couldn’t feel my face being touched by my finger, couldn’t feel my laptop sitting on my lap, no feeling at all on the right hand side - I could have burned myself or cut my finger off and wouldn’t have known - I called my doctor and he said, 'GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM IMMEDIATELY.' "
The 53-year-old star was reluctant to follow the advice as she planned to wait until she spoke to her therapist, who is also a neurologist, to get their opinion.
However, her doctor insisted if she was still alive to speak to her therapist at 5pm, she'd be told the same thing; to go to the nearest hospital emergency department.
She continued: "Walked into the ER and said, 'Hey, I can’t feel the right hand side of my body and…' BAM! OMG! I was on a gurney with a million things stuck in my arms and a bunch of medical people rushing me somewhere.
"They know how serious a stroke is and how immediate care is imperative."
Pauley was admitted to a stroke ward and while she faced a few months of "lingering effects", she credits the quick treatment for her having "fared quite well" in her recovery.
She added: "I am totally OK now, and really want people to get educated about all signs of a stroke, especially that you can have one at any age! By knowing signs of a stroke, we can save ourselves and others."