Joshua Bassett Reveals Health Scare that Nearly Killed Him
Actor Joshua Bassett is opening up about a major health scare he suffered last year.
The 21-year-old tells People he nearly died just as his “High School Musical: The Musical Series” co-star Olivia Rodrigo’s song “Drivers License” was going viral.
Rodrigo’s hit is believed to be about their breakup, despite the stars never confirming their relationship.
Bassett explained that as he was getting all kinds of hate and death threats he started to feel ill, saying, “Every day I felt worse and worse.”
"I was sleeping 16 to 20 hours a day," he shared. "I couldn't even stand up for longer than 30 seconds."
Around the same time “Drivers License” dropped, Joshua released his single “Lie Lie Lie,” as his health steadily declined.
He said, “I felt my heart literally failing. I was like, 'This isn't just anxiety. This is bad.'"
A TV producer ended up taking him to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with septic shock. According to Healthline, septic shock is “a significant drop in blood pressure that can lead to respiratory or heart failure, stroke, dysfunction of other organs, and possibly death.”
Joshua said, "The doctors were like, 'If you hadn't checked in within 12 hours, you would have died in your apartment. 'It's wild that I was this close to taking another nap."
When he left the hospital nine days later, he said, "I was even more depressed and stressed. I had a panic attack every single day."
The time period inspired three songs — "Crisis," "Secret," and "Set Me Free” — but when he released the new tunes in December, it didn’t bring closure. "I got what I had to say off of my chest, but it brought all that stuff back up, and the healing isn't very linear."
Joshua has been in therapy, and is also working through the trauma of being sexually abused as a child and teen.
He said, "What I realized recently is that the reason why I haven't been able to process so much of it is because I went into pure shock. I'm still very much in the middle of the whole process, and I think it is a lifelong thing, but I'm learning to peel back the layers."
Now, Joshua has a new Disney+ movie coming out April 1 with “HSMTMS” showrunner Tim Federle called “Better Nate Than Never.”
Federle told People, "We filmed ‘Better Nate Than Ever’ during a period when Joshua was receiving quite a bit of online speculation and trolling. This was all on the heels of a health scare that had Joshua in the hospital fighting for his life. At a moment when many people would have become jaded or embittered, I watched Joshua start a serious meditation practice, double down on his songwriting, and mentor the two young teenagers who starred opposite him in the film."
As he focuses on his mental health, Joshua now has a message that pops up every time he unlocks his iPhone that says: "Peace is the only path that leads you home."