Jeannie Mai is recovering after an emergency surgery shattered her dreams of winning ‘Dancing with the Stars.’
On Sunday evening, The Real co-host underwent an operation after being diagnosed with epiglottitis, which “is a potentially life-threatening condition that occurs when the epiglottis — a small cartilage ‘lid’ that covers your windpipe — swells, blocking the flow of air into your lungs,” according to Mayo Clinic.
Unfortunately, the diagnosis forced her to withdraw unexpectedly from competing on season 29 of Dancing with the Stars. During Monday night’s episode of the ABC reality dance competition series, host Tyra Banks announced that Mai, 41, had recorded a video for DWTS audiences.
“I have some sad news. Jeannie Mai had emergency surgery last night and she’s in recovery. She’s doing well. However, she’s had to withdraw from this competition. And she shared her emotional story from her hospital room. She did that for you. She really wants you to see that, and you’re going to be able to see that a bit later. Now, due to Jeannie dropping out, we will not have a double elimination tonight. But one couple will go home,” said Banks, 46.
Later in the evening, Mai opened up about the procedure in footage that was recorded in her hospital room, where she admitted that she was “absolutely devastated that my journey on Dancing with the Stars has to end this way.”
“I found out that I have a throat abscess, where my tonsils and my throat had gotten so infected that it started permeating to the rest of the areas behind my neck and my ears that I had to get emergency surgery, which is why I’m here now.”
After the surgery, Mai was told that “everything went great” while some alarming news was also disclosed to her in the hospital. “If you had waited one more day, your throat would have closed up,” said a medical professional.
Though Mai wasn’t able to say goodbye to the show live in the ballroom, the series aired a heartfelt and empowering video package in her honor.
“I’m just so thankful I had the experience on Dancing with the Stars. It was hands down one of the best journeys of my life, so thank you so much and I love you guys,” said Mai.
Take a look at Jeannie’s recovery photo below. We’re happy to hear she’s doing well.
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I would never imagine ever having to write this, but I made it safely out of my emergency surgery. I will be forever grateful to Dr. Nasseri who identified my potentially life-threatening condition. What simply started as a sore throat had unbeknownst to me become a dangerous infection that already closed at least 60% of my airway and resulted in a throat abscess that spread in a matter of 3 days. Although I am grateful to be recovering safely, I can’t lie… I am devastated by the fact that my journey with #DWTS will end this way ?? Dancing on this show has been the most exhilarating adventure. I’ve gained both beautiful friendships and loving supporters. To my partner, @Brandonarmstrong, I’m sorry you don’t get to make fun of my moves anymore while I share my life gems on how to be a grown up?? Love u so much lil bro, and will ALWAYS cherish the memories we made!!! And more good news? My thumbs still work hunnay, so I can spread my 20 votes across these final 8 superstar teams!!! Please everyone, TONIGHT watch for your fave #DWTS couple killen it in the ballroom cuz #TeamDreamofJeannie, we gotta share our love and VOTE!!! #TeamReachForTheSkai #TeamSellingIt #TeamLOCOmotion #TeamBriJo #TeamWillYouAcceptThisDance #TeamPrettyMessedUp #TeamBeNeevers #TeamDaNelly LEGGGGGO??