Will Jeannie Mai return to Dancing With the Stars for another shot at the mirrorball trophy? The Real co-host talked to Dr. Mehmet Oz about whether she'd consider competing on the celebrity dance reality series after she was forced to drop out of Season 29 with a health scare that required emergency surgery.
After Oz asked on Tuesday's episode of The Dr. Oz Show if Mai would return now that she's healthy, Mai said, "Right now, I'm just going to enjoy. I have my fun videos that I can relive all the moments I made it almost to the semifinals. I had such a great time but right now I'm going to sit this one out just because I enjoy my health and just getting myself back to 100 percent."
Mai was forced to leave the competition ahead of Week 8 when she was hospitalized with epiglottitis, an inflammatory condition that caused her throat to close up and ultimately led to her emergency throat surgery. She wasn't aware of the condition previously and simply thought she had a "heavy sore throat" when she woke up one morning and had to cancel her and partner Brandon Armstrong's rehearsal for the day. After a misdiagnosis and a few days of trying to push through with steroids, she woke up one day to find she couldn't breathe.
"I was literally, like, gasping for air," she recalled to Entertainment Tonight a few weeks later in December. "I don't want to wake up J [her fiance Jeezy], so I crawl out of bed, I go and grab some Aspirin to reduce the swelling ... the Aspirin sticks on the back of my tongue and doesn't go down because there's no hole."
She rushed to urgent care, where she was again misdiagnosed. Eventually she saw an ear, nose and throat doctor and "found out that my throat was going to close in the next few hours," she explained. "I called Brandon and was so upset. Was absolutely enraged in tears, like, 'They're making me do this, I'm so sorry.'"
"In that, moment, we realized I had hours to live before I had to get rid of this abscess in my throat," Mai told Oz in Tuesday's episode. Dr. Oz airs weekdays nationwide; check your local listings.