On the mend! Following her unexpected exit from Dancing With the Stars for health concerns, Jeannie Mai gave an update on how she’s coping after undergoing surgery for a potentially life-threatening condition.
On Thursday, November 5, the 41-year-old TV personality took to her Instagram Story to share a mirror selfie taken “4 DAYS POST SURGERY.” Mai gave a thumbs-up while wearing a “Vote Jeannie” T-shirt, writing: “No speaking. No chewing. No bad T-shirts.”
The Real cohost was recently diagnosed with epiglottitis, a rare condition that causes the tissue that protects the windpipe to experience inflammation. Leading up to the diagnosis, she had suffered a sore throat.
“It saddens me that I will not be able to continue with the competition on DWTS. My doctors discovered a health concern with my throat which requires immediate attention and surgery,” she said in a statement to Us Weekly on Monday, November 2. “I am heartbroken that my DWTS journey has to end here. The last several weeks have been an amazing learning experience. I have pushed myself to new limits physically and mentally, and I am so proud of how far we’ve come.”
Shortly after, Armstrong, 26, raved about Mai and all that she had accomplished on the show. Additionally, he noted that she didn’t “deserve” what happened to her.
“Your journey on this show was so special, so unique and so inspiring! I loved EVERY SINGLE WEEK that we got to go through this together! I hope I helped give you an experience that you’ll remember forever,” he wrote via Instagram on Monday. “We share a lot of good times, tough times and all the times in between but mainly, a lot of laughs! Mainly you laughing at me but hey I’ll take it! Thank you for giving me such an amazing season! We will all be praying for a speedy recovery! #TeamDreamOfJeannie always! .”
Mai later addressed her condition in an extensive Instagram statement, which was accompanied by a photo of her lying in a hospital bed. The former How Do I Look? host revealed that she “made it safely out of my emergency surgery,” and she thanked Dr. Nasseri for successfully identifying the health matter.
“What simply started as a sore throat had unbeknownst to me become a dangerous infection that already closed at least 60% of my airway and resulted in a throat abscess that spread in a matter of 3 days,” she explained. “Although I am grateful to be recovering safely, I can’t lie … I am devastated by the fact that my journey with #DWTS will end this way . Dancing on this show has been the most exhilarating adventure. I’ve gained both beautiful friendships and loving supporters.”
The California native continued, “To my partner, @Brandonarmstrong, I’m sorry you don’t get to make fun of my moves anymore while I gift you life gems on how to be a grown up Love u so much lil bro, and will ALWAYS cherish the memories we made!!!”
Mai has been engaged to rapper Jeezy since April.