Brooke Shields: 'Health crisis has been the biggest blessing in disguise'

·3-min read

Brooke Shields is determined to turn her health nightmare into a teaching moment for her children after a tumble off a balance board left her fearing death.

The Blue Lagoon star has been learning to walk again after breaking her femur in a New York gym in late January, an injury which required her to undergo two emergency surgeries, as well as overcoming a staph infection in her arm.

At the time, Shields had been on a health kick as she neared the end of a 14-day workout and clean eating plan, and although she's still in recovery, Shields considers the personal crisis a "blessing" in disguise.

"I think it's almost been the biggest blessing to date, because I realised what a fighter I am," she told Good Morning America.

The 55-year-old actress recalled taking her focus off her exercise for a split second, but it was enough to send her flying up into the air and crashing to the ground.

"The only thing I could keep saying was I could feel my toes, because I just knew that I couldn't move, but I wanted to make sure I wasn't paralysed, and I sort of came to inches away from hitting my head on a weight bench," she shared. "There's so many things that could have happened, I feel just so lucky. I feel so lucky to be alive."

Shields initially managed to maintain a positive outlook on her condition, until doctors warned her the infection at the site of her intravenous tube for her blood transfusions could be the superbug MRSA, which can be life-threatening as it's resistant to antibiotics.

"Once fear kicked in, that's when I started to falter...," she said. "I don't think I've ever been more afraid because I was helpless."

However, she had to stay strong for her loved ones, who were unable to visit her in the hospital due to COVID-19 restrictions, and at one point, her condition was so dire, her two teenage daughters wanted to know if they would ever get to see their mum again.

"My kids actually asked me if I thought I was gonna die," Shields added.

Now the former model is working "very hard" on her rehabilitation, which she has been chronicling on social media, and she wants to use her strength and determination to get back to full health to show other women and girls, including her children, how to overcome adversity.

She concluded, "If I can turn it into anything positive, or I can teach my girls, 'Yeah, stuff's gonna happen in your life, and how you respond is going to define you, and adversity will reveal you. It won't make you as much as it will reveal you,' 'cause you see who you are, you see what you're made up of, and you think, 'Wow, I need to share this'.

"Especially women, I want them to know that they deserve to feel good about themselves and be healthier and happier and bigger - lead a bigger life (sic)."