Rocker Travis Barker, who was addicted to painkillers for years, overhauled his diet, started exercising daily and kicked his drug habit since surviving a near-death plane crash in 2008.
Barker, 35, was hospitalized in critical condition with severe burns to his torso and lower body after a Learjet plane crashed on takeoff from Columbia, S.C., in September 2008.
Four people were killed in the accident, including the pilot and co-pilot, while Travis and his friend, Adam Goldstein (a.k.a. – DJ AM) were hospitalized. Sadly, Goldstein died in 2009 of an apparent drug overdose at age 36.
While both Goldstein and Barker suffered severe post-traumatic stress following the horrific incident, Travis’s life also changed in some drastic, but positive, ways.
“I’ve been vegan since I got out of the hospital,” Barker says in the November 2011 issue of Rolling Stone. “It’s another eye opener.
“(The plane crash) changed my life in a number of ways. I run every day now. I never ran before. In the hospital, I promised myself that if I ever walked again, I would eat well and swim every day.”
The Blink-182 drummer, who was battling a painkiller addiction for years before the crash, has since kicked the habit.
“I can proudly say I didn’t even take any pain medication after I got out of the hospital,” says Barker. “They told me I’d be on some of the medicine for the rest of my life, but I got off all of them. They made me a completely different person.”
Travis credits his two kids Landon, 7, and Alabama, 5, for giving him the will to live and survive after his horrific near-death ordeal.
“If I didn’t have kids, I think I would have went the other direction,” Barker recounts. “When I got out of the hospital I was on 21 forms of medication. The doctor said that I would be on half of them for the rest of my life.
“I was on (psychiatric watch for suicide) for two weeks. I then slowly went off my meds. I had my kids looking up to me and wanting me to bounce back…Just to be given a second chance, knowing my partners didn’t get that. I had to make the most of my time.”
One thing Travis doesn’t do now since his plane crash is fly. “Unfortunately I can’t do as much touring as I would like because I don’t fly,” he says. “It’s an obstacle.
“I’m working on it though. I’m trying to get hypnotized, trying to talk to a doctor who retrains your brain. Maybe he’ll help me fly again one day.”