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Hailey Bieber details 'life-altering and scary' stroke experience: 'I couldn't speak'

By Brooke Villanueva Published Apr 28, 2022 11:03 am

Hailey Baldwin Bieber has detailed the “scariest moment" of her life over a month after experiencing a medical brain emergency. 

The 25-year-old model recalled her scary experience in a YouTube video, which she said she released after waiting for the completion of her tests and procedures.

In her Instagram stories on March 12, she gave a quick update to her followers after exhibiting “stroke-like symptoms” and expressed her thanks to “everyone who has reached out with well wishes and concern.” In her vlog released on Thursday, April 28 (Philippine time), she decided to explain her health scare in its entirety for the very first time. 

It started with a “weird sensation” in her right arm during breakfast as well as a “numb and weird” feeling in her fingertips. Shortly after, she was surprised she “couldn’t speak” as she tried to talk to her husband, singer Justin Bieber, who asked if she was okay. “The right side of my face started drooping, I couldn’t get a sentence out. Immediately, I thought I was having a stroke,” she said. 

While the facial drooping only went on for half a minute, the model still couldn’t talk properly, with anxiety “making everything worse.” Things only got better when she finally arrived in the hospital. “By the time I got to the emergency room, I was pretty much back to normal. I could talk, I wasn’t having any issues with my face or my arm.” 

After completing a series of tests, it was found that she had a “mini-stroke” known as the Transient Ischemic Attack. According to her scans, a blood clot made her experience a lack of oxygen to her brain. Her doctors pointed out three events that may have led to it: birth control pills (without doctor consultation), her recent COVID-19 diagnosis, and frequent flights particularly “from Paris and back in a really short amount of time.” 

She was able to secure clearance for hospital discharge the next day. The medical exams and procedures, however, didn’t stop there. In her follow-up check-up, she was diagnosed with Grade 5 PFO—a “small opening between the two upper chambers of the heart, the right, and the left atrium,” according to Hopkins Medicine. “Normally, a thin membranous wall made up of two connecting flaps separates these chambers. No blood can flow between them.” 

In her case, the hole was about 12-13 millimeters, which she had to close for her heart tissue to go back to normal. Hailey said it went “very smoothly” and she’s now taking aspirin and blood thinners every day as she continues to recover from her mini-stroke fully.

The biggest thing I feel is I just 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 move on from this really scary situation and just live my life,” she said. 

“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.”

“And if there’s anybody out there who sees this and has maybe experienced similar things but doesn’t really know the reason or know why, I would definitely encourage you to talk to a doctor,” said Hailey.