Dusty Hanshaw has been an IFBB Pro since he won the 2014 North Americans show. His last pro competition was at the 2018 Vancouver Pro, where he placed 11th, but his fanbase is as loyal as any athlete in his sport. Hanshaw shared a lot about his life on social media and YouTube. So, when fans didn’t see anything from him for a while in 2021, there was a lot of concern. It turned out that he had been in a coma. He explained how the ordeal started to Dennis James on a recent episode of The Menace Podcast.

“I got a piece of steak caught in my throat, but you know how it gets caught but you can still breathe so you’re fine? I was literally still getting dressed and moving on when life. Then, I finally swallowed it, but I can feel it drag the whole way down my throat,” said Hanshaw.

He was still feeling concerned, and he even threw up later that day, but he told James that it was blood. A nurse friend told him to go to the hospital immediately, where he threw up blood a second time. It turned out that he had cut his esophagus. There were complications during the operation to repair the cut, and Hanshaw ended up in a coma from May 13 to June 8. Hanshaw explained the cause that led him to being out that long was dealing with acid reflux for several years.

“It had thinned out the lining of my whole esophagus,” he said. “So, when that (steak) went down, it ripped the entire length of my esophagus.”

Hanshaw went on to say that he was also dehydrated and caught pneumonia while he was under. He considers himself lucky to be alive, and he’s grateful as well, but he attributed his experience with bodybuilding for him to recover completely.

“I really believe with bodybuilding that we have a connection to our bodies that is just different,” Hanshaw explained. The doctors expected him to take up to three weeks to be able to walk and recover enough to leave the hospital. Hanshaw shared that it didn’t take quite that long.

“The long story short is three days later I left the hospital.”

Hanshaw is now back to training, eating normally (yes, including steak), and making the most out of each day he has. He and James covered a lot of ground on this episode, including the other ordeals that he dealt with while he was in the hospital, his move from Arizona to South Carolina, and more. Make sure to subscribe to the Muscle and Fitness YouTube channel so you can see all of DJ’s interviews on TMP as well as other content, including the Reps podcast, Sleeveless, and more.