The Lifetime reality TV star and head of the Abby Lee Dance Company, who has been wheelchair bound for a year, recently opened up to PEOPLE about her ongoing battle, revealing that her physical therapists are “convinced” that she will be walking in just a few months after she has a knee replacement.
“The physical therapists who are at the top of their field – they’re amazing to me – they are convinced that once I get this right knee taken care of, I will be walking again,” she told the outlet. “I haven’t heard anybody say that until recently, and I’ve had two different therapists saying there is no doubt. They don’t want to give you expectations that aren’t going to come to fruition, so I feel like now I’m going to do it.”
“I was close before, but then we moved back to Pittsburgh to shoot the show, and it was the holidays before that, and it’s kind of taken a backseat, my therapy. And now that we’ve wrapped and we’re finished shooting Season 8, I can now concentrate on me, myself, and I,” she added. “So I plan to have the knee surgery done in July and be walking by September.”
Trouble for Miller, 52, began in April of 2018 after an emergency back surgery led to a Burkitt lymphoma, a type of non-Hodgkins lymphoma, diagnosis. The health crisis not only left Miller with an 18-inch-long scar along her spine, but it also resulted in her being bound to a wheelchair.
“I was paralyzed from my neck down, I was in the fetal position just talking. That was it, that was all that I could do,” she recalled the moments before the surgery. “And he did eight-and-a-half hours of emergency surgery, and he looked at my three friends that were there and he said ‘We have 10 minutes or we’re going to lose her.’’ And I remember hearing that. I heard that, and you know, he didn’t have an MRI to look at, he didn’t have a CT Scan, he didn’t know whether he had to go in the back or the front. And I remember yelling ‘My back, my back. Go in the back. It’s my back.’ And he went into my back and I have an 18-inch scar down my spine. 13 vertebrate were affected.”
While it had initially been believed that there had been a chance that Miller would never again walk, the Dance Moms star revealed in February that not only was she re-learning how to walk, but also how to dance.
Dance Moms returns to Lifetime for Season 8 on June 4 at 8 p.m. ET.