Toni Braxton has long been open about her battle with systemic lupus erythematosus, the most common form of lupus. In her latest update, she revealed she’s overcome a “traumatic” health scare that she learned about after postponing her routine urine and blood tests.
“I kept putting it off thinking, ‘Oh, I’m fine. I’ll be okay.’ But my doctor was persistent and I went to get tested in the last week of September,” Toni tells People. “I did a specialized test and they looked at my heart and saw some abnormalities. I found out that I needed a coronary stent. My left main coronary artery was 80% blocked. The doctors told me I could’ve had a massive heart attack, I would not have survived.”
Toni says she assumed her chest was aching because she was mourning the death of her sister Traci Braxton before discovering that “it was my body talking to me, telling me something’s not quite right.”
She eventually had an emergency procedure, during which a stent was inserted in her heart, and was hospitalized for a few days.
Though she notes the experience “was really a scary moment,” she looks at it as a “blessing in disguise” and is grateful her life didn’t end with a heart attack.
Toni now gets tested every three months. She says she will not put off any more tests and has teamed up with Aurinia’s Get Uncomfortable campaign to encourage others living with lupus to stay on top of their health with routine testing.
“I know we’re all scared sometimes to go to the doctor,” says Toni. “But I find that knowing is empowering and it gets my doctors on top of my lupus and my kidney health. And that’s the most important thing.”
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