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Shaquille O'Neal's Son Shareef Shares Recovery Video after His Heart Surgery a Year Ago

Claudine Varela
Dec 21, 2019
10:00 P.M.
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Shareef O'Neal reflects on the past year as he marks the first anniversary since his heart surgery. "I thought I was going through hell," he says.

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It’s been a year since Shaquille O’Neal’s son, Shareef O’Neal underwent surgery to treat a life-threatening heart condition. And according to Shareef’s latest health update, it’s been a “big struggle” but he’s “finding my way back.”

Shareef O'Neal watching a game of his team, the UCLA Bruins in November 15, 2019. | Photo: Getty Images

Shareef O'Neal watching a game of his team, the UCLA Bruins in November 15, 2019. | Photo: Getty Images

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GRATEFUL FOR HIS HEALTH

Shareef reflected on his past year in a recent Instagram post. He admitted feeling scared having learned about his heart condition and its threat to his life. But he also shared that it was a turning point for him. “I was turned into a new kid,” he writes.

Shareef’s mother also shared her thoughts on the anniversary of her son’s surgery. In her own post on Instagram, she reveals having to rely on her faith to get through that ordeal.

Shareef’s update came with throwback videos of his post-surgery recovery. In one clip, his father assists him in trying to walk. In another, two therapists help him sit up. He also shared photos of his parents sitting by his hospital bedside.

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Shareef writes,

“I thought I was going through hell while dealing with this process but then i realized it was a blessing that it was found.”

Grateful for his renewed health, Shareef thanks everyone for their support and for uplifting him when he struggled. He shares that it’s been 261 days since he was cleared to return to basketball training and adds, “the comeback still coming.”

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HIS MOTHER'S THOUGHTS AFTER ONE YEAR

Meanwhile, Shareef’s mother also shared her thoughts on the anniversary of her son’s surgery. In her own post on Instagram, she reveals having to rely on her faith to get through that ordeal. She recalled crying a lot but trying to be strong for her kids.

She also drew strength from Shareef telling him, “your Faith even though you were scared comforted me.”

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THE YEAR THAT WAS

Shareef learned about his heart condition during summer training last year. Doctors diagnosed an irregularity in his heart that needed serious medical attention. Without surgery, his condition was fatal.

On December 13, 2018, Shareef went under the knife. A couple of weeks later, he showed proof of his surgery by posting a picture of his stitches that ran from his chest to his stomach. Throughout his recovery, Shareef would share updates and would count the days until his return to the sport he loves. He was back on the court by April.

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