updated 08/04/2011 AT 8:35 AM ET
•originally published 08/04/2011 AT 9:45 AM ET
Eleven days after being hospitalized in May with serious injuries from a jet-ski accident, Sean Kingston faced a second near-death situation – a torn aorta that required open-heart surgery.
He was set to be released at the time, having recovered significantly from the crash, when he felt a stabbing pain in his chest. After tests, he was rushed to an operating room.
“He tried to die a couple of times with us, but we refused to let him die,” one of Kingston’s doctors said Thursday on NBC’s Today show.
“I had a lot of pain,” the “Beautiful Girls” singer, 21, says. “But when I went to visit the surgeon [afterward], he said, ‘Yo, you had a guardian angel that day.’ ”