Cedric McMillan opens up with new details on his heart issues, developing pneumonia, long COVID, and being put on life support.

Earlier in November, Cedric McMillan performed a guest posing and also provided an update on his rocky bodybuilding season. It turned out, he revealed, that he was dealing with breathing and heart issues likely caused by contracting COVID-19 in the previous year. With cases rising across the world at a rapid pace due to Omicron, Generation Iron decided to sit down with McMillan and talk in further detail about his experience with the virus and his near death experience in the hospital. In our latest GI Exclusive, Cedric McMillan goes into full detail about contracting COVID-19, developing pneumonia, and being put on life support.

For a short period of time in 2021, fans were confused as to what was happening with Cedric McMillan. After much delay he was set to compete at the Legion Sports Fest Pro 2021, only for him to disappear after the pre-judging and not show up at the finals. There was silence and mystery for a few weeks. Then suddenly McMillan reappeared during a guest posing and revealed a series of medical issues that threw off his bodybuilding season.

It turned out that Cedric McMillan had developed COVID-19 in 2020 right after the Arnold Classic. He recovered. He was fine. But many months later he started having trouble breathing. This breathing issue eventually took him to the hospital – where he found out he had pneumonia. Shortly after he found himself on life support in the hospital. “I was almost dead.” He stated during his guest posing speech.

Now with more time to recover and reflect on the entire experience, Generation Iron Brasil’s Aretha Luz at down with Cedric McMillan to get an in-depth account of the entire experience. McMillan opened up with complete honesty about the slow building of events that eventually left him intubated and on life support.

Cedric McMillan was noticing shortness of breath for quite some time. As early as May or July of 2021. But McMillan attributed this to his massive size. He was over 300 pounds and as any pro bodybuilder would attest – it puts some strain on cardio and breathing. But then the symptoms didn’t subside. For weeks and weeks his breathing became worse. Eventually he knew that he had to seek medical advice. Upon going to the doctors, it was discovered his heart rate was dangerously low. He was rushed to the hospital.

It was at this point that the doctors drew a connection between his current medical issues and COVID-19. They asked McMillan if he had COVID-19. Cedric McMillan confirmed that much earlier in 2020 he had gotten the virus. But was fine after recovering. The doctors informed him he now has pneumonia. And while it can’t be confirmed with 100% accuracy, it was likely that his lung were very slowly building up with fluid for months after having the virus.

After spending a few days in the hospital and still struggling to breath, Cedric McMillan grew impatient. He wanted to leave. He felt that he was not in immediate life or death danger. He jokes that he stood up and pulled off the wires from his body, “like a movie.” The doctors tried to stop him. Before he knew it. He was sedated and woke up three days later.

It turns out shortly after being sedated, his condition grew worse. He was put on a ventilator and life support. The hospital called his family as they were concerned that there was a likely chance that Cedric McMillan would die. Luckily, this was not the case

Cedric McMillan is now recovered. After leaving the hospital, he took some time to recoup, and after some false starts, he finally felt healthy enough to step back on stage. This was when he decided to guest pose at the Armed Forces Nationals 2021.

Cedric McMillan realized that he needed time to recover after such an ordeal. Now that he’s taken that time, he feels prepared to compete at the Arnold Classic 2022 in March and then shortly after compete in the Arnold Classic South America. McMillan’s plans were derailed in 2021. But the pro bodybuilder has always been a focused competitor hungry for victory. Perhaps 2022 will be a true comeback for the much hyped athlete.

You can watch Cedric McMillan go into full detail about his entire near-death experience in our latest GI Exclusive interview segment above.

Derek Dufour
Derek Dufour has been managing all digital operations on the Generation Iron Network for over six years. He currently manages a team of editors, writers, and designers to provide up-to-date content across the GI Network.