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“It seemed to me that everything was happening in slow motion. And then I just started screaming,”says Brooke Shields of her injury at a gym in downtown New York in late January, when she fell off a balance board, flew into the air and landed with such force that she broke her right hip.
“There were sounds I had never heard before,” she says
Shields, 55, says the injury left her wondering if she could ever walk again. So when the medical staff came to put me on the stretcher, I kept saying, "I can feel my toes, because I was so afraid that I was paralyzed."
She required surgery to insert two metal rods, “one from the top of my thigh down and the other across my hip joint,” she explains. But after the broken part of her right thighbone popped out, she immediately underwent a second surgery, adding five rods and a metal plate to secure it all in place.
“I never considered myself Zen,” she says, “but with some gaining of calm I realized that everything else now depends on me.”
After two and a half weeks in the hospital, she returned home and contracted a very serious staphylococcal infection that caused her to return to the hospital for emergency surgery, where she received three blood transfusions.
“At first, they feared it might be an antibiotic-resistant MRS type of bacteria,” she recalls. “Thank God it’s not so. If that were the case, my doctor said it would be a race against time. Here's how to become infected. It seemed inconceivable."
While she was in the hospital, her husband, producer Chris Henchy, daughter of Rowan, 17, and Greer, 14, were unable to visit her due to precautions related to COVID-19.