Brooke Shields is opening up about an accident that she thought might paralyze her. The 55-year-old sat down with People, explaining that it happened at an NYC gym in late January. She fell off a balance board and landed with such force she broke her right femur.
She says: “Sounds came out that I've never heard before.”
Shields says she needed surgery to insert two metal rods, “one from the top of my hip down, and another across into the hip socket.” But then a broken portion of her right femur popped out and she underwent a second surgery to add five rods and a metal plate to anchor it all in place.
“I never considered myself Zen,” she says, “but I realized with a certain calm that the rest is up to me now.”
Shields spent two-and-a-half weeks in the hospital, then developed a staph infection at home that required an emergency surgery.
“At first they feared it might be MRSA a type of bacteria resistant to antibiotics,” she recalls. “Thank God it wasn't. If it had been, my doctor said it would have been a race against time. That's how you can become septic. It seemed unthinkable.”
Because of COVID, her husband, producer Chris Henchy, and daughters Rowan, 17, and Grier, 14, couldn’t visit.
Then, the hard work started. She says: “I can't even stand on my leg or go up a step. I need to relearn how to even walk. The feeling of helplessness is shocking.”
But it reminded her of how strong she is. “My career has actually been like that as well. One door gets slammed in my face and I search for another. It's not unlike how I felt when I wrote about postpartum depression in 2005. This is my journey, and if it took me breaking the largest bone in my body, then recovery is something I want to share. We have to believe in ourselves and encourage one another. There's no other way to get through life, period.”