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DWTS Alum Jeannie Mai Details Her Almost Life-Threatening Experience When She Was Hospitalized

Manuela Cardiga
Nov 25, 2020
07:30 P.M.
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Jeannie Mai was hospitalized when what started out as a sore throat developed into a serious infection and a life-threatening abscess.

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On November 2, 2020 "Dancing With The Stars" announced that dancer Jeannie Mai was withdrawing from participating in Season 29 of the contest.

Mai, 41, had initially been suffering from a sore throat, which turned out to be a strep infection, which quickly developed into a potentially life-threatening condition.

Dancer Jeannie Mai on set at "Dancing With The Stars"  Season 29 - Week Six, 2020 | Source: Getty Images

Dancer Jeannie Mai on set at "Dancing With The Stars" Season 29 - Week Six, 2020 | Source: Getty Images

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RUSHED TO HOSPITAL

Mai's sore throat quickly led to difficulty breathing, and the dancer went to the doctor who immediately had her rushed to the E.R. and told her she couldn't compete on "DWTS" the following evening.

The doctor diagnosed Mai with a parapharyngeal abscess that had closed off 60% of her airway and would have to be operated on immediately.

Mai had felt increasingly short of breath but had believed that it was due to using a mask during rehearsals

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Mai was shocked by the diagnosis and begged her doctor to put off the surgery so she could complete the week's competition. She revealed:

"But he said, 'Absolutely not.' Because any form of respiratory work — like walking fast, getting excited, laughing — causes the blood pressure to swell in your throat."

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MISDIAGNOSED

As it turns out, Mai was already dangerously ill. She had previously consulted two different doctors who had given her steroids to treat a strep throat and allowed her to continue with her demanding dance routines.

Mai had felt increasingly short of breath but had believed that it was due to using a mask during rehearsals, but in reality, her throat was slowly closing up.

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INTENSIVE CARE

Doctors operated on Mai, removed her tonsils, and drained the abscess that was obstructing her throat, but she wasn't out of danger.

For the next week, Mai was on extreme critical care watch, with a nurse checking on her constantly to make sure she was breathing.

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ON THE MEND

Even after she left the hospital, Mai was still on an I.V. and wasn't allowed to move. Any strain could raise her blood pressure and cause her throat to swell shut.

Mai is now on the mend, and has been thanking her fans for their love and support, as well as her colleagues on the talk-show "The Real," and on "Dancing With The Stars." Get well soon, Jeannie Mai.

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