Actress Brooke Shields said she had to re-learn how to walk after nearly losing her leg in a freak accident. The Blue Lagoon star recently explained how she struggled through months of physical therapy and a staph infection because of the fall.
Shields told People she fell while at a gym in New York. She hit the ground with such force it caused a compound fracture of her right femur and for a moment she believed she may have been paralyzed. Thankfully, she was able to get help and paramedics rushed her to the hospital.
She spent two weeks there, all the while, her teenage daughters and husband could not visit. Because of COVID-19, the hospital reportedly couldn’t permit any non-essential personnel into the ICU.
“I’ll never forget how hard the doctors and nurses worked and hearing their stories about COVID,” she says. “I have asthma but I kept thinking, ‘I feel blessed I can breathe.'”
Similar to Tiger Wood’s procedure, Shields’ doctors inserted steel rods into her right leg to stabilize the bone. Unfortunately, a portion of broken bone broke through the skin, and the former supermodel needed to undergo a second surgery. Shortly after that she developed a staph infection, which can be deadly if untreated, the MAYO Clinic says.
“At first they feared it might be MRSA [a type of bacteria resistant to antibiotics],” she told People. “Thank God it wasn’t. If it had been, my doctor said it would have been a race against time. That’s how you can become septic. It seemed unthinkable.”
However, since then she’s been on the mend, and showing off her physical therapy on her Instagram.
Brooke Shields Spent Weeks in the Hospital
She said the injury hasn’t humbled her, but it is has forced her to slow down and give herself time to heal. She told doctors she originally wanted to do therapy twice a day, but she realized immediately she wasn’t ready for such an ordeal. But Shields already made major strides in her treatment, she said.
Doctors sent her home after about a month. And she says she’s equipped to handle the arduous journey ahead of her, she told the magazine.
“I’m the only one that’s going to be able to get through this,” she says. “My career has actually been like that as well. One door gets slammed in my face and I search for another. It’s not unlike how I felt when I wrote about postpartum depression in 2005. This is my journey, and if it took me breaking the largest bone in my body, then recovery is something I want to share. We have to believe in ourselves and encourage one another. There’s no other way to get through life, period.”