Keala Settle has spoken candidly about a stroke she suffered in 2018 just eight days before she was due to perform smash-hit This Is Me at the Oscars.
The star – who is best known for playing The Bearded Lady opposite Hugh Jackman in 2017’s The Greatest Showman – revealed she was even ‘fitted for her Oscar performance gown’ while in hospital.
Appearing on Wednesday’s Loose Women, Keala, 46, explained: ‘The stroke ward is actually where I was fitted for my gowns. They had to take off the monitor on my chest and fit me into these lovely gowns.’
Candid: Keala Settle, 46, revealed she was even ‘fitted for her Oscar performance gown’ while in hospital during an appearance on Wednesday’s Loose Women
Opening up further about the aftermath of her stroke, Keala added: ‘When it happened, I had about two to four months…
‘I had to regain all of my talking, and reading, and writing. I think the last bit of that was singing, I didn’t know if I could sing again.’
Elsewhere, the star was quick to talk about her friendship with A-lister Hugh, 53, sweetly revealing he ‘called her every day’ when she was in hospital.
She also shared the moment Hugh asked her to join him on the film’s 2019 world tour.
Opening up: The star spoke candidly about a stroke she suffered in 2018 just eight days before she was due to perform smash-hit This Is Me at the Oscars
‘After I came out of surgery and I started singing again and was trying to find some semblance of life he said ”I’m so glad you’re feeling better, do you wanna go on tour with me?”’ Keala told the audience.
Keala revealed in November 2018 that she had a stroke just days before the biggest performance of her career.
The incident happened eight days before Hollywood’s biggest night at a rehearsal space in Burbank, California on February 24 she told People magazine.
Keala explained: ‘The stroke ward is actually where I was fitted for my gowns. They had to take off the monitor on my chest and fit me into these lovely gowns’
Leading into the medical emergency, she felt ‘completely rundown’ as she had food poisoning in Tokyo while fighting a cold.
According to the publication, her stress levels were so high that she had a nervous breakdown on set which lead to her collapsing into tears.
Keala said that she started feeling a shooting pain in her skull and noticed the right side of her body going numb.
Friends: Elsewhere, the star was quick to talk about her friendship with A-lister Hugh Jackman, 53, sweetly revealing he ‘called her every day’ when she was in hospital (pictured in 2019)
She explained: ‘It was like someone cracked an egg on the top of my head and then drew a line on my body, turning one half off.
‘My body started drooping immediately. I tried to put my hands up to my face, but I could only move my left arm. I couldn’t talk because part of my tongue was immobile. I tried to stand, but there was nothing.’
The talented star suffered from what is called a transient ischemic attack (TIA) which is basically a ‘mini-stroke’ that produces similar symptoms of a larger stroke which is often a warning of impending trouble.
‘I was panicked,’ she said. ‘I let out this wail because I was so scared and the room went silent. All I could figure out how to say was ”Help.”’
Her body was able to begin to bounce back after 20 minutes as she quickly rushed to get some consultation with a series of brain scans.
Best known: Keala is best known for playing The Bearded Lady opposite Hugh in 2017’s The Greatest Showman
The medical professionals found that half of her brain was blocked off from blood flow and oxygen for years due to collated carotid arteries, which happened to be major blood vessels which supply blood to brain, neck and face.
Her brain created tiny blood vessels to supply it with blood as a way of compensating, however, they snapped. The rare cerebrovascular disorder is known as Moyamoya disease.
According to Settle the condition is prevalent in a lot of women (especially of Asian Pacific Islander descent) as she explained: ‘It could have happened at any time. It just so happened to happen a week before the biggest performance of my life.’
She underwent a 10-hour double-bypass brain surgery to correct the problem and admitted that the experience helped change her for the better.
‘It’s shifted me in ways I’m still understanding,’ she explained. ‘The way that I look at the world is so completely different. I’m more at peace than I’ve ever been; I can find the joy in things I never could. This truly gave me another lease on life.’
Awful: Keala revealed in November 2018 that she had a stroke just days before the biggest performance of her career