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Sharon Stone Reveals Doctors Initially Missed Her Brain Hemorrhage, Believing She Was ‘Faking’ Her Condition

Sharon Stone
Sharon Stone (Credits: Getty Images)

When Sharon Stone faced a brain hemorrhage in 2001, she shared in a recent interview that doctors initially doubted the seriousness of her condition.

In 2001, the acclaimed Emmy winner endured a stroke that triggered a nine-day brain hemorrhage, leaving her with just a 1% chance of survival. This harrowing experience led her to take a hiatus from her Hollywood career.

Speaking with Vogue, the iconic star of “Basic Instinct,” now 65, recounted her terrifying journey to the hospital after experiencing a sudden, lightning-like pain in her head. She vividly recalled awakening on a gurney and inquiring about her destination, to which the person pushing the gurney responded with the words, “Brain surgery.” Stone explained that a doctor had made the decision, unbeknownst to her and without her consent, to perform exploratory brain surgery.

Sharon Stone

Sharon Stone (Credits: PEOPLE)

Continuing, the “Casino” star emphasized, “What I learned through that experience is that in a medical setting, women often just aren’t heard, particularly when you don’t have a female doctor.” Due to the medical staff’s initial dismissal of her pain, her brain hemorrhage went undetected at first. “They missed it with the first angiogram and decided that I was faking it,” she recalled.

Fortunately, Stone had her best friend by her side, who staunchly advocated for her. “My best friend talked them into giving me a second one, and they discovered that I had been hemorrhaging into my brain, my whole subarachnoid pool and that my vertebral artery was ruptured,” she revealed. “I would have died if they had sent me home.”

However, Stone’s path to recovery was far from smooth. After her hospitalization, she grappled with mobility issues, significant weight loss, and facial paralysis. She explained, “I bled so much into my subarachnoid pool (head, neck, and spine) that the right side of my face drooped, my left foot dragged severely, and I had a severe stutter.”

In the early stages of her recovery, she experienced stuttering, visual impairment, and memory lapses, as she had shared with PEOPLE earlier. She also described getting painful, knot-like sensations all over the top of her head, likening them to being punched. Stone stressed that the pain was beyond words.

Two decades later, she decided to open up about her health ordeals, expressing concerns about how the public would react. She admitted to having “hidden” her disability, confessing, “[I] was afraid to go out and didn’t want people to know. I just thought no one would accept me.” However, in recent times, Stone has become more comfortable discussing her challenges publicly, noting, “For a long time, I wanted to pretend that I was just fine.”

She also disclosed that her health scare significantly affected her career, revealing that she doesn’t receive many job offers because she’s considered a “disability hire.”

Today, Stone serves on the board of the Barrow Neurological Foundation, supporting the medical institute led by her brain surgeon, Dr. Michael Lawton, in Arizona.

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