Jeannie Mai Shares Post-Surgery Health Update After 'Dancing With the Stars' Exit

Jeannie Mai is sharing a hopeful health update after an emergency surgery forced her to drop out of this season of Dancing With the Stars. The Real host shared a thumbs up with her Instagram followers Thursday, celebrating "4 DAYS POST SURGERY" rocking a "Vote Jeannie" T-shirt and writing, "No speaking. No chewing. No bad T-shirts."

As revealed on this week's DWTS, the TV personality was diagnosed mid-season with epiglottitis, which causes the tissue that protects the windpipe to inflame. While Mai only experienced a sore throat as a symptom, the diagnosis was enough to prompt her immediate hospitalization and surgery, which meant her time on DWTS, where she was competing alongside pro partner Brandon Armstrong, came to an end.

Jeannie Mai hospital
(Photo: Jeannie Mai)

"What simply started as a sore throat had unbeknownst to me become a dangerous infection that already closed at least 60% of my airway and resulted in a throat abscess that spread in a matter of 3 days," she wrote on Instagram of her diagnosis. "Although I am grateful to be recovering safely, I can't lie … I am devastated by the fact that my journey with #DWTS will end this way. Dancing on this show has been the most exhilarating adventure. I've gained both beautiful friendships and loving supporters."

The Holey Moley host continued, "To my partner, [Brandon Armstrong], I'm sorry you don't get to make fun of my moves anymore while I gift you life gems on how to be a grown up Love u so much lil bro, and will ALWAYS cherish the memories we made!!!"

Armstrong had nothing but love for his partner as he gushed over her growth and accomplishments on the show, telling his Instagram followers Monday that she didn't "deserve" what had happened to her to bring her season to an unexpected end.


"Your journey on this show was so special, so unique and so inspiring! I loved EVERY SINGLE WEEK that we got to go through this together! I hope I helped give you an experience that you'll remember forever," he wrote on social media ahead of Monday's show, where he appeared solo. "We share a lot of good times, tough times and all the times in between but mainly, a lot of laughs! Mainly you laughing at me but hey I'll take it! Thank you for giving me such an amazing season! We will all be praying for a speedy recovery! #TeamDreamOfJeannie always!"