Reality star Kim Zolciak-Biermann is recovering from a mini stroke that she suffered just hours after performing a foxtrot with pro partner Tony Dovolani on the Sept. 22 episode of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars,” according to a Sept. 24 Instagram post. The buxom “Real Housewives of Atlanta” alum shared that she experienced the frightening medical emergency on the morning of Sept. 23, shortly after arriving home on the red eye from Los Angeles.
The 37-year old mom of six first detailed her ordeal, explaining that the “whole left side” of her body “went numb” and her “speech was gone.” She then thanked her husband, NFL player Kroy Biermann, and eldest daughter, Brielle, for their quick thinking. Although she wrote that she’s still hospitalized, she has regained full feeling and is hopeful that she will be released shortly.
The starlet suffered what it known as a Transient Eschemic Attack (TIA), which takes place when blood flow to the brain is temporarily blocked, usually by a blood clot. A TIA is a warning that a full stroke could potentially occur in the future.
Her “DWTS” fate is, as of press time, uncertain. Although a number of favorites –including wildlife conservationist Bindi Irwin, singer Tamar Braxton, and Backstreet Boy Nick Carter– have emerged during the first few weeks of the competition, Zolciak-Biermann has experienced a less than stellar start. She and Dovolani opened the season with a salsa that scored a field-worst 12 points, and went on to turn in a quickstep that was leaps and bounds better but still nabbed only 19 points. The foxtrot that they performed shortly before the starlet’s stroke scored an 18, which once again placed them near the bottom of judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Julianne Hough, and Bruno Tonioli’s leader board.
Although Zolciak-Biermann’s experience was a scary one, the rigors of intensive dance training make injuries relatively commonplace for “DWTS” celebrity cast members. Paralympian Amy Purdy, who placed second during the show’s 18th season, went to the hospital after injuring her back following a rumba with pro partner Derek Hough. That same season, “The Wonder Years” alum Danica McKellar cracked a rib during rehearsals with Valentin Chmerkovskiy.
Not even the well-conditioned pro dancers are immune to injury, accidents, and setbacks. Kym Johnson narrowly escaped serious injury in 2011 when NFL star Hines Ward accidentally dropped her on her neck during rehearsals. Fan favorite and Emmy winner Derek Hough was forced to the sidelines for several weeks during season 20 thanks to a pair of on-set accidents. Even more recently, pro Peta Murgatroyd had to withdraw from the current season after suffering a serious ankle injury that required surgical attention.
With or without Zolciak-Biermann and Dovolani, “Dancing with the Stars” season 21 will continue Sept. 28 on ABC with a TV-themed night of performances. The show airs Mondays at 8 PM ET/PT.