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Hailey Bieber Says This Was the First Sign of a Blood Clot in Her Brain

The 25-year-old had a major health scare that led to heart surgery.

Hailey Bieber is best known for dominating runways and magazine covers—not to mention her high-profile marriage to pop superstar Justin Bieber. In recent months, however, she's been grabbing headlines for another reason entirely: a frightening health scare that shocked her fans. In a recent video, Bieber recounted the details of her unsettling medical drama, during which she was diagnosed with a blood clot in her brain. Read on to learn the first symptom the 25-year-old celeb experienced, and to find out how she's been doing since.

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Bieber called the incident "the scariest moment of my life."

Hailey Bieber
Karwai Tang/Getty Images

In an Apr. 27 video she posted to YouTube, Bieber recounted the shocking story of having a blood clot in her brain. "I'm making this video because I want to tell this story in my own words," she said, recalling the "very scary incident" which occurred on on March 10th.

"It's kind of hard for me to tell this story," Beiber explained. "I've only up until now told friends and family and people who I'm close to, but I felt it was important for me to share this."

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These were her first symptoms.

Justin Bieber and Hailey Bieber
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Roc Nation

Bieber recalled the moment she knew her health was in sudden jeopardy. "I was sitting at breakfast with my husband having a normal day, a normal conversation," the model began. "We were in the middle of talking, and all of a sudden, I felt this really weird sensation that traveled down my arm from my shoulder all the way down to my fingertips, and it made my fingertips feel really numb and weird."

As she touched her fingertips to try to determine the source of the sensation, husband Justin Bieber asked her if she was OK. "I just didn't respond because I wasn't sure, and then he asked me again. When I went to respond, I couldn't speak. The right side of my face started drooping," she said, adding, "I thought I was having a stroke."

Bieber was diagnosed with a TIA mini-stroke.

Hailey Bieber
Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

By the time she arrived at the hospital, Bieber's symptoms had vanished—but that didn't stop her doctors from performing a battery of tests. During a brain scan, they learned that Bieber had developed a small blood clot which traveled to her brain, and diagnosed her with transient ischemic attack (TIA) or mini-stroke.

Reza Bavarsad Shahripour, MD, a board certified vascular neurologist and neurosonologist for Providence Saint John's Health Center, tells Best Life that mini-stroke patients who recover quickly are "not out of the woods. In the first couple of weeks and months after suffering the mini stroke, they are at an increased risk of having acute stroke, and that is the reason they need to have close monitoring by their vascular neurologist, primary care physician, and family at home."

This was especially true for Bieber, who later learned that what triggered her TIA was a congenital heart defect known as a patent foramen ovale (PFO)—a small opening between the heart's upper chambers. Though all babies are born with this opening, it usually closes shortly after birth. It was through this hole that the clot had likely traveled through Bieber's heart to her brain. After seeking additional testing, Bieber underwent heart surgery to repair the open flap in her heart. "It went very smoothly. I'm recovering really well, really fast," Bieber revealed in the video.

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She's now raising awareness about TIA risk factors.

Hailey Bieber
Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for LACMA

Besides raising awareness about the conditions that caused her TIA mini-stroke, the model is now warning others about three factors that doctors said may have helped trigger her health scare: beginning birth control without discussing side effects with her doctor first, traveling by plane without stretching or moving around, and contracting COVID. Bieber says that after the incident, she adjusted her birth control plan with her doctor's help, and now plans on wearing compression socks when she travels.

Since her recovery, Bieber says she's grateful for the help of excellent doctors, and hopes others in the same situation will receive the care they need. "The biggest thing I feel, honestly, is I just feel really relieved that we were able to figure everything out, that we were able to get it closed, that I will be able to just move on from this really scary situation and just live my life."

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Lauren Gray
Lauren Gray is a New York-based writer, editor, and consultant. Read more
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