(NEW YORK) -- Whoopi Goldberg shocked her co-stars -- and the studio audience -- on The View on Thursday, by making a surprise appearance on the set for the first time since she nearly died from complications of pneumonia.
"Hurry back, Whoopi," Joy Behar was just telling the camera, when Goldberg emerged from backstage, to cheers.
"This was death, and here was me," the EGOT-winning entertainer said, indicating a very small distance with her hand.
She went on to explain that after suffering from a cough since November, she'd finally reached a point where she felt bad enough to go to the hospital. Once there, she learned she was spiking a fever, and one of her lungs was nearly filled "with stuff."
Goldberg said she was eventually diagnosed with double pneumonia and sepsis, each of which on their own could easily be fatal.
Goldberg went onto explain how she "wasn't supposed to be here," but got permission from her doctor. However, she still has a cough, and will be "easing back into" her old schedule, potentially returning to her View chair on Monday.
There were moments of levity during her hospital stay as well, Whoopi recalled -- like when her co-hosts Sunny Hostin and Ana Navarro were recognized by another patient.
"'You look like that lady from The View,'" Goldberg said, quoting the patient. "'Oh, I hate that show!'" Navarro, who was trying to remain incognito, reportedly. Whoopi was recognized, too -- but claimed she was just "Whoopi's cousin."
Before she left, Goldberg also claimed to have found a new cause. After being tied up in red tape during her time in the hospital, she now wants to advocate for the improvement of the health insurance system.
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