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Brooke Shields feared she might be paralyzed after breaking her femur in January — and then faced the threat of dying from a harrowing staph infection during her recovery, according to a new interview.
The “Suddenly Susan” star said that “survival mode kicked in” as soon as she fell off a balance board at a gym in New York and suffered the serious workout injury.
“Sounds came out that I’ve never heard before,” she recalled to People. “I kept saying, ‘I can feel my toes’ because I was so afraid I was paralyzed.”
Shields immediately underwent surgery to insert two metal rods, “one from the top of my hip down, and another across into the hip socket.”
However, the broken portion of her femur soon popped out, forcing the Golden Globe-nominated star to endure a second surgery to “add five rods and a metal plate to anchor it all in place.”
“I never considered myself Zen, but I realized with a certain calm that the rest is up to me now,” she said.
Shields’ battle didn’t end there. Two weeks after her second surgery she developed a staph infection they feared could be MRSA at the IV site where she received three blood transfusions.
“Thank God it wasn’t,” Shields, 55, said. “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.”
Shields has been relearning how to walk and has been documenting her physical therapy sessions on Instagram. She began with once-a-day sessions but challenged herself to increase to twice daily.
“For the first time in my entire life, I thought, ‘I can’t power through this,’” she recalled. “I can’t even stand on my leg or go up a step. I need to relearn how to even walk. The feeling of helplessness is shocking.”
But she pushed through, saying, “If anything, I’m a fighter.”
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