The Daily Dish

Exclusive: Steve 'Nookie' Postal Almost Died After '80 Plates' Journey

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#TheDress: Fashion Queens Sound Off on That Effing Gown

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Exclusive: Steve 'Nookie' Postal Almost Died After '80 Plates' Journey

The chef suffered a massive blood clot in his heart and lungs.

Steve "Nookie" Postal

Steve "Nookie" Postal earned a reputation for being a master strategist when it came to playing the game of Around the World of 80 Plates. And while the show's finalist was always game for any challenge, a few weeks after wrapping the competition, he found himself in a life-or-death scenario after suffering a massive blood clot in his heart and lungs.

Postal, one of three finalists in the 80 Plates finale, tells The Dish exclusively that in the final stages of production, he "just didn't feel right," especially while competing in Argentina and Uraguay. "I was getting really tired really fast. I didn't want to walk anywhere -- it wasn't just the running that was killing me," he says, but he just chalked it up to jetlag and not being in the most perfect shape. Still, even when the cameras stopped rolling, the symptoms continued once he was back stateside.

"When I came back to the States, I was complaining to my wife about it, she was just like 'You're just out of shape,' but it got the point where I couldn't walk up a flight of stairs anymore. So finally she says 'You have to go to the doctor,'" he recalls, saying that just walking into the doctor's office had him winded. After explaining his symptoms, his doctor gave him an ultimatum: "The doctor said: 'You need to go to the hospital now, or I'm putting you in an ambulance.'"

Nookie being Nookie, he took the doctor's words as being "a little dramatic," so he and his wife stopped for lunch before heading to the hospital. That's when things took a serious turn.

"After lunch I went to the hospital and as I parked my car, I'm walking across the street and I collapsed. Thankfully there was a police officer there who helped me into the hospital. It turned out I had a massive pulmonary embolism," he tells us.

He remained hospitalized for three weeks while doctors put him on a regimen of blood thinners and medicines to get his blood in check, and in case you doubt the seriousness of the clot, consider this tale Nookie told us: "My cardiologist said it wasn't the biggest blood clot he'd ever seen, it was just the largest he's seen from someone who's still alive."

Keep reading on the next page ...

As it turns out, this medical condition runs in Nookie's family. "My father died when I was 15, and he died of the same thing. He took a long flight to Alaska and it got him. We figured it all out, it was that long flight from Hong Kong to Argentina that did it. The doctors can tell how old the clot is," Nookie told us, adding that clotting issues are a hereditary condition -- one he had no idea would afflict him.

After his blood was regulated and he was released, Nookie had to stay out of the kitchen for three months, and upon his return in his office, he booted up his computer to find a reminder of just how off he was feeling health-wise before the blood clot. "I finally went back to work four months later, and the screen I had left my computer on had Google searches for walking pneumonia, mono -- I thought I might have these because I felt so bad. Turns out, blood clot in the heart and lungs."

The 37-year-old chef is now on blood thinners for life, and he says "it's probably a good thing that it happened to me as young as I am," because his survival rate might not have been so high later in life. Otherwise, it's a simple program he's following now. "I have to stay on these medications forever, regulate what I eat and try not to die."

And in true Nookie fashion, even when the subject is something as serious as skirting death, things always have to end with a laugh: "I guess they say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Isn't that what Kelly Clarkson says?"

The Around the World in 80 Plates finale airs tonight at 10p -- tune in to see if Nookie is the show's first champion.

 

#TheDress: Fashion Queens Sound Off on That Effing Gown

Plus: Madonna bites it at the BRITs, llamas on the lam and more viral news this week.

What's going viral? Who's been the top trending topic on Twitter? And what are the news stories that had us obsessed all week? There's plenty of can't-miss stuff out there beyond our Bravoverse. And every Friday, we're rounding up all the must-see stories, Tweets, Instagrams, YouTubes, Vines, and more in one handy place. Enjoy!

What Color Is #TheDress?
The weirdest things go viral on the internet these days. Case in point: on Thursday night, the world was divided on figuring out the color of a gown when it was posted online by singer Caitlin McNeill. White and gold? Blue and black? We went to the Fashion Queens to weigh in on what they saw—and Bevy Smith, Miss Lawrence, and Derek J tell the Daily Dish they all see black-and-blue. Stassi Schroeder, meanwhile, sees white-and-gold. "I'm not understanding this!" she wrote. "Am I in the matrix?" Andy, meanwhile, couldn't be bothered, tweeting Thursday night, "I am boycotting the effing dress on the show tonight." Either way, Wired magazine has a scientific breakdown of why the colors are perceived in different tones.

I'm not understanding this. Am I in the matrix? #whiteandgold #tryingdesperatelytoseeblack #wheretheeffistheblack

A photo posted by Stassi Schroeder (@stassischroeder) on

Lupita Nyong'o's Pearl Dress Stolen!
Speaking of couture: the actress' stunning white Calvin Klein Collection gown, which was finished with thousands of pearls, was stolen from her Los Angeles hotel room this week.

While the investigation is still ongoing, the look has already become an iconic red carpet moment. See what the Fashion Queens thought of her Oscars look.

The Escape of the Llamas Captures the Nation
Slow news day? The hilarious story of two llamas who were running loose on the streets of Sun City, Ariz. became a national trending topic—and headline news—on Thursday. The animals were eventually captured, but you can check out raw footage of them on the lam above. Next time, animal handlers may want to call Lisa Vanderpump—this would never happen on her watch.

Xtina Imitates Britney and the Result Is Flawless
While appearing on Fallon this week, Jimmy had guest Christina Aguilera play a game of Wheel of Musical Impressions. Fallon's Michael McDonald is great and all, but the pop star nailed her take on her former Mickey Mouseketeer.

Madonna Bites It at the BRIT Awards
Ouch! The Queen of Pop had her ego checked this week when she fell off the stage at the BRIT Awards. But she's a total pro—and got back up to finish singing "Living For Love." Andy, meanwhile, couldn't be prouder of his favorite singer: