What she thought was a sore throat ended up being much more serious for Jeannie Mai.
Jeannie Mai experienced a health scare earlier this year that forced her to get an immediate surgery and abruptly left “Dancing with the Stars” season 29 as one of its contestants. Jeannie, who had a parapharyngeal abscess, shared in a new interview that her condition was so bad that she “almost died.”
“I got sick, but it was just, what I thought, a sore throat. That morning that I felt my sore throat I went to go rehearse with Brandon [Armstrong] at seven in the morning and I was very tired but I had a long day of shooting after that,” Jeannie recalled in a YouTube video. “I went from Brandon’s rehearsal then to a long shoot that was freezing cold where the illness I had quickly caught on and got worse because I was sitting under an air conditioning vent that just got me freezing cold and made me plummet into actually getting sick.”
“What I was dancing with was a numb neck because I couldn’t feel anything when it was really closing up,” “The Real” co-host went on to say. “My throat was 60 percent closed. It was numb, but it was closed. After I went home, I wrote a letter to Jeezy and said, ‘Hey, I’m going to go to bed at like 9:30. I feel terrible. Please pray for me because I think that if I don’t make it through this I don’t know if I’m going to make it through camera blocking.’ ”
The fiancee of Jeezy (Young Jeezy) later said that she couldn’t breathe when she woke up hours later. “I was literally like gasping for air,” she said. “I don’t want to wake up J so I crawl out of bed, I go and grab some Aspirin to reduce the swelling … the Aspirin sticks on the back of my tongue and doesn’t go down because there’s no hole.”
Jeannie announced her sudden exit from “Dancing with the Stars” on November 2. “My doctors discovered a health concern with my throat which requires immediate attention and surgery,” she said in a statement to “Good Morning America”. “I am heartbroken that my ‘DWTS’ journey has to end here. The last several weeks have been an amazing learning experience. I have pushed myself to new limits physically and mentally, and I am so proud of how far we’ve come.”
Giving a shout-out to her pro partner, Jeannie added, “I can’t thank my partner Brandon enough for being so supportive and believing in me. I also want to thank MAI fans who voted every week and I wish everyone else in the competition the best of luck!”
The lesson we all can take away is listen to your body and don’t be afraid to go to the doctor if something isn’t right.