"My stroke left me with an intense sense of peace. Today I can say that I have known death very closely," the Basic Instinct actress explained in a recent interview. "In those moments I felt that my deceased friends were coming to get me, and that removed all traces of fear."
"I lost my panic to try anything," she continued. "When you experience something like this, you learn that nothing in life is really important and you understand that failure is just the beginning of success."
Stone, who was 43 years old at the time, was initially misdiagnosed and even accused of "faking" her symptoms. After a trip to the emergency room in 2001, she recalled in a separate interview the feeling of "waking up on a gurney" confused and being told she was being taken to have brain surgery.
"A doctor had decided, without my knowledge or consent, that he should give me exploratory brain surgery and sent me off to the operating room," she told a separate outlet. "What I learned through that experience is that in a medical setting, women often just aren’t heard, particularly when you don’t have a female doctor."
Following her stroke, Stone suffered vision issues and memory loss. She also had to relearn how to speak, write and walk.
"In my case, so much was taken from me. I lost custody of my child, I lost my career and was not able to work, I was going through a divorce and being put through the ringer," she shared. "I lost so much, and I could have allowed that to define me."
"But you have to stand up and say, 'Okay, that happened, and now what? What am I made of?'" she noted.
"I hid my disability and was afraid to go out and didn't want people to know," she said in a past interview. "I just thought no one would accept me. I think many people identify with their illness as 'I am this thing,' and it cannot be your identity."
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