Amanza Smith is opening up about her health scare.
As you may know, the Selling Sunset star was hospitalized in June after suffering from a serious infection called osteomyelitis. Now she’s getting into all of the details about her terrifying health journey in a new interview with People published on Wednesday.
A month after wrapping up Season 7 of the Netflix hit, Amanza told the outlet she woke up one morning and could barely get out of bed because her back hurt so bad. She dealt with the pain for six days before finally giving in and going to the emergency room. However, the doctor determined at the time she was only having a back spasm and dealing with lower back arthritis — they sent her home with some medication.
After taking the meds, the Oppenheim Group employee started to feel better… for about a week. But the pain sadly came back — and when it returned, it was 100 times worse than before. Things escalated to the point she collapsed at her home one night in May. Five days later, a friend convinced Amanza to go to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
Related: Tori Spelling Was ‘Running On Empty’ Before Hospitalization
But what Amanza thought was nothing more than excruciating lower back pain turned out to be something far more alarming. When she was admitted to the hospital on June 2, doctors had her undergo an MRI. They soon discovered the interior designer had vertebral osteomyelitis — a rare bone infection that can be fatal for two out 10 patients. And at the time, Amanza had an advanced case. In fact, she was just days away from dying! The 46-year-old recalled her doctors saying:
“One or two more days at home and you could have been dead. I thought I had a backache, and I almost died. The doctors and my friend saved my life.”
While at the hospital, doctors had her on IV antibiotics and got her into surgery to “clear the infection from the bones” in her lower spine. But unfortunately, the osteomyelitis spread to other parts at the front of her spine, and the area was too risky to operate on:
“It was close to my aorta and my kidney.”
Although the physicians hoped to treat the infection with antibiotics, her vertebrae continued to deteriorate:
“The risk was the antibiotics wouldn’t penetrate the bone, and my entire back could collapse.”
So scary!! This resulted in a second six-hour long surgery, in which surgeons placed a titanium mesh cage, rods, and screws in her back in the hopes of keeping her spine together:
“I am an iron woman, with rods and screws.”
A month later, Amanza finally came home. When she saw her children, Noah and Braker, for the first after being discharged, their reunion was overwhelmingly emotional:
“When I saw my son for the first time, he literally fell into my arms and started weeping. And he said ‘Momma, I was so scared you weren’t going to come home from the hospital. I was so scared you weren’t going to come home. I had never seen him cry like that. In that moment, I realized ‘Jesus, little guy was holding it all in.’ They don’t have their dad, so that fear of a parent leaving him and not coming back is in there because that’s what happened with their dad.”
Heartbreaking. Her son and daughter must have been so worried about their mom.
Despite being out of the hospital, Amanza still has a long road to recovery. She explained to the outlet she has to take antibiotics for the rest of the year and attend physical therapy:
“There are so many things I can’t do, because I can’t lift more than five pounds. Sometimes my purse is too heavy. You can’t speed up time, but I’m very anxious to be able to do the things that I love to do. I like to decorate. I like to rearrange. I want to be able to hang things, but I’m very limited right now.”
Moving forward, though, Amanza refuses to let her condition get her down:
“You know who your friends are when you become a burden. It’s like a rebirth. I will never take my mobility for granted again. When I can walk and jog again and do Pilates or ballet, I hope I stick to them because I plan on living to be 107.”
It sounds like Amanza went to hell and back with this experience. We’re wishing her nothing but the best as she continues her recovery! Reactions, Perezcious readers? Let us know in the comments. You can also hear more about Amanza’s health journey (below):
[Image via Selling Sunset/Netflix]