‘Happy Days’ star Anson Williams talks near-death experience: ‘Im so lucky to be alive’


It was about 16 years ago when Anson Williams was driving home and virtually lost his life. On a sweltering hot period, the now 67 -year-old former Happy Days star, who was suffering from dehydration, fell asleep at the wheel.

I terminated up bouncing around in the[ California] desert, Williams told Fox News. Im so lucky to be alive.

After the incident, the actor known by fans as Potsie from the make sitcom “Happy Days” reached out to his uncle Dr. Henry Heimlich, the inventor behind the well-known technique for saving choking victims. Heimlich proposed a remedy many people already have in their kitchens.


He said to cut up lemons and whenever I seemed drowsy, only bite into them, told Williams. When the citric acid and sour combining hits the nerve on your tongue, it creates an immediate adrenalin-reflex-body reaction that instantaneously makes you alert … I never had that difficulty again. I would always seem instantly awake and alert.

Williams didnt want to keep his redres a secret.

My business partner and I learned that one of the most catastrophic issues in our country, on the same order of firearms, medications, and drinking, is drowsy driving, he explained. One out of five drivers admit to falling asleep at the wheel at one time. I envisioned ‘We can help this. We can cure this.’ I talked to Dr. Heimlich and asked if we can put lemons into spray fells he mentioned utterly. Its all about the placement, the top of your tongue. He said if you get the right combining, it should work beautifully.

Williams, along with business partner JoAnna Connell, developed Alert Drops in 2015 and it took two years to perfect before they decided to release it to the public in 2017. He described the product as portable and caffeine-free.

Its literally creating a lemon in a spraying, he told. You spray that on your tongue when youre seeming drowsy and you will instantly be alert and awake. Dr. Heimlich passed away in December, but the last few telephone call we had before, he really made me promise that I would get Alert Drops out to the public. He said it would save more lives than the Heimlich maneuver.


But it wasnt simply his near-death experience or even his close relationship with Dr. Heimlich that inspired Williams to help save lives. A week before Christmas in 2016, Williams was diagnosed with colon cancer.

For a long time, I would do certain things and get out of breath easily, he told. It was odd. I envisioned, Perhaps I should check this out. I went in and the doctors found that my red blood cell count was a six. Its supposed to be 14 -1 6. That means youre hemorrhaging out from inside. They couldnt believe I was strolling. They told me I was so anemic. I was so used to being a mess, I didnt recognize I was a mess! But we got it in time.”

Williams had surgery on January 11 and is now cancer-free. He was determined to be around for his five daughters.

Hannah is 27, has a wonderful husband and two children, and she works for Buzzfeed, he boasted. I have four daughters at home from 19 -years-old to 10. Three are black belts.


And while Williams is busy these days raising awareness on the dangers of drowsy driving, he doesnt mind still being recognized best for his involvement on “Happy Days, ” a series that operate from 1974 until 1984.

When Happy Days first started, I supposed timing-wise we are able to do OK, he explained. But I likewise didnt recognise there was a special chemistry happening on that present. An ‘It’ factor, a certain sorcery Its a wonderful sentiment we still have it around for people to enjoy[ And] I believe the secret that induced the set so great was our softball squad. We would travel all over “the worlds” playing advantage plays. Most of us were ex-jocks. So it was fantastic to its implementation of maintaining a group of actors together beyond the set.

And while the reveal came to an end over 30 years ago, the casting are still close.

Our relationship is excellent, he insisted. I dont assure Ron[ Howard] just as much because hes always all over, but were in contact. Henry Winkler, were in contact. Don Most, hes 15 minutes away from me. All of us has bided very, very close. Were ever a phone call away.

However, he was shocked to discover Erin Moran, who starred as Joanie, succumbed at age 56 on April 22.

[ In the past ], she didnt have the greatest upbringing at home, he said. She went through a lot of pain unnecessarily. She went through a lot of trauma and I lost way of her. But then merely only a few years ago, I got back in contact with her and her husband. And she was really get her life together. Really, truly having a good direction.

“And then suddenly, she was diagnosed with throat cancer. We would text because she couldnt talk. But I was optimistic. I imagined she was beating it. So I was just devastated when I learned she passed.

Williams, along with several cast-members of Happy Days, privately reunited to celebrate Morans life.

Now hes hoping to help others in the same way his late uncle, who passed away on December 17, 2016 at age 96, did in his lifetime.

His philosophy on life is that we all succumb, but we need to leave behind something that doesnt, said Williams. He did that in a huge route. I would love to follow in his footsteps and be able to leave behind something that will maintain families together and avoid unnecessary tragedies.

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