Following her diagnosis, Bieber was advised to undergo PFO closure, a procedure that involves a catheter guiding the placement of a permanent implant to seal the hole in the heart wall, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Fortunately, the surgery was a success and Bieber is now healing well.
“I’m recovering really well, really fast. I feel great,” the model tells fans in her video. “The biggest thing I feel, honestly, is really relieved that we were able to figure everything out, that we were able to get it closed, that I will be able to just move on from this really scary situation and just live my life,” Bieber said.
Bieber is fortunate that both she and her husband, singer Justin Bieber, acted quickly after noticing her initial symptoms. According to the Mayo Clinic, some symptoms of a stroke can include difficulty speaking and understanding speech, paralysis or numbness of the face, arm, or leg (typically on one side of the body), a drooping side of the face, blurred or darkened vision, severe headache, or trouble walking.
In her YouTube video, which currently has more than two million views, Bieber revealed that difficulty speaking, numbness in her arm and fingers, and drooping on one side of her face were all symptoms she experienced: “I couldn’t get a sentence out. I couldn’t get the words out,” Bieber said. It was then she knew she was having a stroke. “I’m really scared, I don’t know what’s going on,” Bieber said.
Fortunately, by the time she was admitted to the hospital, she was already feeling more like herself. “By the time I got to the emergency room, I was pretty much back to normal. Could talk, wasn’t having any issues with my face or my arm,” Bieber said. Though scary, a TIA thankfully is only a temporary period of stroke-like symptoms and doesn’t cause permanent damage. But, around one in three people who experience a TIA will go on to suffer a full-blown stroke, usually within the year that follows the TIA. Seeing a medical professional immediately after a TIA is critical to potentially prevent a future stroke.
According to the American Stroke Association, one of the best ways to spot a stroke is to remember the FAST acronym:
- (F) Face drooping: Is one side of the face drooping or numb, or is the smile uneven?
- (A) Arm weakness: Is one arm weak or numb? When the arms are raised, does one drift downwards?
- (S) Speech difficulties: Is speech slurred?
- (T) Time: It’s time to phone 911 if you notice any of these issues.
Rapid diagnosis (within three hours of the onset of symptoms) gives an individual a higher chance of responding to treatment, as per the CDC, meaning it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible.