Sunday, December 10

Hailey Bieber Says She ‘Couldn’t Speak’ During Ministroke

Photo: Arturo Holmes/FilmMagic

Hailey Bieber is opening up about what she called “the scariest moment of my life,” the health scare resulting from a blood clot in her brain that made headlines in March. In a new YouTube video titled “telling my story,” the model recounted the ordeal and gave fans an update on her health.

In March, Bieber confirmed that she had been hospitalized for a blood clot in her brain, telling fans via Instagram stories that she had experienced “strokelike symptoms” and was now at home recovering. At the time, she didn’t reveal any other details, like what caused the blood clot in the first place, but now, over a month later, she’s ready to share it with her fans.

In the video, Bieber recounted her ordeal, explaining how one morning, during breakfast, all of a sudden she felt a shooting pain down her arm, and when her husband, Justin Bieber, asked her if she was alright, she couldn’t respond. “I couldn’t speak. The right side of my face started drooping, I couldn’t get a sentence out,” she said. Luckily, there was a medic in the area who was able to give her care while they waited for an ambulance. “They were asking me questions — do you know where you are, do you know your name? And I knew all the answers in my head, but when I tried to say it, I just could not get it out,” she explained. “It was like my tongue and my mouth just could not form the sentences and responses. So obviously that was really, really scary.”

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Bieber was taken to the emergency room, and noted that by the time she arrived, her speech had returned and she was “back to normal.” It was there that she was diagnosed with a small blood clot in her brain, known as a TIA. According to Bieber, doctors told her that the blood clot might have been caused by a “perfect storm” combination of birth control pills, a recent bout with COVID, and a recent flight.

It wasn’t until Bieber underwent further testing that doctors were able to diagnose her with a PFO, a small opening in the heart that normally closes after birth. “They found that I had a grade 5 PFO, which is the highest grade that you can have. Mine was fairly large,” she said, noting that, as anxiety-inducing as the entire process had been, she was “grateful” to finally have a more concrete diagnosis. “My blood clot escaped through the flap, or the hole, in my heart and traveled to my brain, and that was why I had my TIA.”

Bieber recently underwent surgery to close the PFO, and assured fans that everything “went smoothly” and that she’s recovering nicely at home. “I feel really relieved that we were able to figure everything out, that we were able to get it closed, that I will be able to just move on from this really scary situation and just live my life,” she said.

Though she is on the mend, Bieber said that she “felt a lot of anxiety” and had a “really really hard time” between her diagnosis and surgery. However, now that she’s feeling better, she felt it was time to share her experience, in part to dispel any rumors going around about her hospitalization, and also to help others who might have had similar experiences. “If there’s anybody that watches this that has gone through the same thing or something similar, I definitely really empathize with you, and I understand how life-altering and scary it is,” she said, adding that she would encourage anybody who experiences similar symptoms to seek medical attention. The video description also included links to resources about stroke signs, healthcare organizations, and Planned Parenthood.

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The experience definitely sounds terrifying, but it also seems like Bieber was able to pull through with her sense of humor intact. In fact, she said that at one point in the ambulance ride to the ER, the EMTs identified her as a 30-year-old female, and she just had to correct them. “I was like, ‘Actually, I’m 25.’ I had to make sure they weren’t going to age me five years for no reason, you know?” Honestly? A fair point. A ministroke is no reason for someone to add five years to your age.

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