Jeannie Mai’s “Dancing with the Stars” journey may have been cut short, but the experience is something she’ll cherish forever.
On Monday’s episode of “Dancing with the Stars,” host Tyra Banks addressed Mai’s emergency surgery on Sunday, which required her to drop out of the competition. “The Real” star, 41, later appeared in a taped video from her hospital room, where she elaborated on her epiglottitis diagnosis.
“I’m absolutely devastated that my journey on ‘Dancing with the Stars’ has to end this way,” Mai began.
“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 behind my ears, that I had to get emergency surgery which is why I’m here now,” she continued.
Described as a “potentially life-threatening condition,” epiglottitis occurs “when the epiglottis — a small cartilage ‘lid’ that covers your windpipe — swells, blocking the flow of air into your lungs,” according to the Mayo Clinic.
In Monday’s video, Mai is seen after the procedure, which “went great,” with a doctor also noting, “If you had waited one more day, your throat would have closed up.”
Brandon Armstrong, the professional dancer partnered with Mai this season, said that he “couldn’t have asked for a better partner this season.”
Mai added she is “so thankful” for the experience.
“It was hands-down one of the best journeys of my life,” she said.
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