In the knick of time! Jeannie Mai had to undergo emergency surgery and was forced to exit Dancing With the Stars, and during the Monday, November 2, episode, the 41-year-old got candid about how leaving the show essentially saved her life.
"I found out that I have a throat abscess, where my tonsils and my throat had gotten so infected that it started permeating to the rest of the areas behind my neck and my ears that I had to get emergency surgery, which is why I’m here now," she said about the procedure, which was recorded in her hospital room.
Following the surgery, doctors told Mai that "everything went great" but warned her that if she "had waited one more day," her "throat would have closed up."
Despite not being able to compete for the mirrorball trophy anymore, the brunette beauty couldn’t help but gush over her time in the ballroom. "I'm just so thankful I had the experience on Dancing With the Stars. It was hands down one of the best journeys of my life, so thank you so much and I love you guys," she said.
On Sunday, November 1, the TV personality got surgery after she was diagnosed with epiglottis, which "is a potentially life-threatening condition that occurs when the epiglottis — a small cartilage 'lid' that covers your windpipe — swells, blocking the flow of air into your lungs," the Mayo Clinic’s description reads.
As a result, Mai had to say goodbye to the reality show. "I have some sad news. Jeannie Mai had emergency surgery last night and she's in recovery. She's doing well,” host Tyra Banks, 46, said during the show. "However, she's had to withdraw from this competition. And she shared her emotional story from her hospital room. She did that for you. She really wants you to see that, and you're going to be able to see that a bit later. Now, due to Jeannie dropping out, we will not have a double elimination tonight. But one couple will go home."
"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," Mai 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.
"I can’t thank my partner, Brandon Armstrong, enough for being so supportive and believing in me. I also want to thank MAI fans who voted every week, and I wish everyone else in the competition the best of luck!" she added.
"Jeannie Mai will not be able to continue to compete on #DWTS this season due to a health concern that requires immediate attention," the show’s official Instagram account read. "Jeannie has inspired us, along with millions of fans, with her energy and dedication. We wish her a full and speedy recovery. Since Jeannie had to withdraw from the competition, tonight’s show will feature the eight remaining couples and a single elimination."