In his memoir, serialised in the Daily Mail, the 'Rocketman' hit-maker describes how his prostate cancer operation caused an infection, leaving him "24 hours from death".
He prayed in hospital: "Please don't let me die - please let me see my kids again".
"I lay awake all night, wondering if I was going to die," he writes.
Sir Elton was cured of the illness following successful surgery, and is currently back on tour. He'll play four shows in New Zealand in February.
In his memoir, the music legend points to a number of events that happened throughout his life, the Daily Mail reports, including an argument he had with Princess Diana - whom he had a close relationship with.
"Diana Princess Of Wales was one of my dearest friends. I feel a profound sense of obligation to protect [Prince] Harry and his family from the unnecessary press intrusion that contributed to Diana's untimely death," he said in a recent Twitter post.