‘My heart and lungs would stop’ as a premature baby: Penn Badgley

When Penn Badgley was a baby his mother had to resuscitate him several times a day, the star has revealed.

The “Gossip Girl” actor, 36, stopped by the HypocondriActor podcast and shared he was born two months premature with multiple health problems.

“The first couple of weeks I was in a NICU [neonatal intensive care unit] because my heart and lungs would stop repeatedly throughout the day,” he told podcast hosts Sean Hayes, 52, and Dr. Priyanka Wali.

The doctors had to revive him daily while he was in the hospital and his mom learned how to as well once Badgley was deemed fit enough to go home.

“[She had to do it] multiple times a day because my heart and lungs would stop, and I was on a monitor that would just beep very loudly,” the “You” star went on. “The first time she had to do it was on the way home from the hospital when I was released from the NICU.”

He then noted how he would be hooked up to a monitor even when sitting in a car seat.

The doctors had to revive him daily while he was in the hospital as a baby.
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Once it would go off, someone just had to touch him to bring him back to life. He continued: “Just human touch would wake me up,” he said his cousins told him.

Badgley stated that his condition “faded away” as he grew up, however, it had a lasting impact on his perspective of death and parenting. He now has a two-year-old son with his wife Domino Kirke, 40, who is a doula.

“The effect that it’s had on me at least in a sort of emotional way is that I’m extremely sensitive to touch, I’ve just noticed that in my life,” Badgley said. “Anytime anybody touches me, I’m just very aware of it.”

Penn Badgley
“Just human touch would wake me up,” the TV star said.
Getty Images

On the topic of death, he said it “doesn’t scare” him. “There’s some aspect to that where I feel like there’s a gravity to the earliest experiences,” he said.

Badgley said having a son shed even more light on how his childhood health problems impacted him.

The “Easy A” alum stated: “If my son, who I now know so well, was the first year of his life flatlining multiple times a day, the idea that that wouldn’t influence him is ridiculous. Thinking of my toddler now, I’m realizing it actually did affect me. It affected my sense of what life is like, what life is not like.”

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