Natalie Stone
June 02, 2017 06:13 PM

Former Bachelorette star Trista Sutter suffered a seizure during her family vacation in Croatia on Thursday.

The ABC alum, who is currently in Europe with her husband, Ryan Sutter, and their two children — son Maxwell ‘Max’ Alston, 9, and daughter Blakesley Grace, 8 — took to Instagram on Friday to share a picture from her hospitalization. In the photo, Trista rested in a hospital bed with patches on her chest while an IV was hooked up to her body.

“This was me yesterday. …two hours after I had a seizure. …two hours after I fell on my daughter’s chest & she watched, along with her brother & grandparents, in confusion & horror as her mommy stared blankly off into the distance & started turning blue. …two hours after we were supposed to have an adventure. An adventure to one of the most beautiful National Parks in Europe,” she began the candid post.

This was me yesterday. …two hours after I had a seizure. …two hours after I fell on my daughter's chest & she watched, along with her brother & grandparents, in confusion & horror as her mommy stared blankly off into the distance & started turning blue. …two hours after we were supposed to have an adventure. An adventure to one of the most beautiful National Parks in Europe. Instead, I ended up in a euphoric white dream that the voices of my husband and daughter pulled me from and I ended up in a Croatian hospital being poked and prodded and wondering "why me?" But today, I had to ask, "why not me"? I'm human. I have an expiration date. I've always envisioned that date being sometime after my kids have graduated college, met the loves of their lives and created families of their own, but I was reminded yesterday that it could come anytime, in any country, whether I'm surrounded by strangers or people I love, or neither, or both. I've never been perfect and I never will be, but from here on out, I vow to try my best to live this life to the fullest. To embrace gratitude and the lessons I wrote about over 3 years ago with a newly acquired perspective. To stress less. To love more. To listen. Be kind. Spread joy. To be a better version of myself as a wife, mother, sister, cousin, niece, aunt, neighbor, daughter, and friend. Thank you to those back in the states, whom I hold dear. You know who you are. Thank you to those I've never met who lift me up and have my back. Thank you to those from my #bachelornation family who've shown this OG kindness & respect when I know I'm old news. Thank you to the kind tourists & Croatians who held my hand, wiped my tears, and hugged my kids. You will forever be remembered. And lastly, thank you to my family, especially @ryansutter. Without you, I don't know that I would be here today. You are my everything and I love you forevermore. If you've gotten this far, know that I don't share these words for your pity, but to inspire you to take them and be thankful for your life and blessings. Tell the people you love how you feel and live with grateful enthusiasm. I plan to.

A post shared by Trista Sutter (@tristasutter) on

“Instead, I ended up in a euphoric white dream that the voices of my husband and daughter pulled me from and I ended up in a Croatian hospital being poked and prodded and wondering ‘why me?’ But today, I had to ask, ‘why not me?’ I’m human,” she wrote. “I have an expiration date.”

She continued: “I’ve always envisioned that date being sometime after my kids have graduated college, met the loves of their lives and created families of their own, but I was reminded yesterday that it could come anytime, in any country, whether I’m surrounded by strangers or people I love, or neither, or both.”

Reflecting on the scary, life-threatening moment, Trista admitted that she has “never been perfect” and she “never will be,” but moving forward she is vowing, “to try my best to live this life to the fullest. To embrace gratitude and the lessons I wrote about over 3 years ago with a newly acquired perspective. To stress less. To love more. To listen. Be kind. Spread joy. To be a better version of myself as a wife, mother, sister, cousin, niece, aunt, neighbor, daughter, and friend.”

Trista, who was the first Bachelorette to star on the ABC reality series in January 2003, also expressed her gratitude to her family, friends, supporters, Bachelor nation, and her husband, whom she met on the show and later married in December 2003.

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“Thank you to those back in the states, whom I hold dear. You know who you are.  Thank you to those I’ve never met who lift me up and have my back. Thank you to those from my #bachelornation family who’ve shown this OG kindness & respect when I know I’m old news,” Trista wrote. “Thank you to the kind tourists & Croatians who held my hand, wiped my tears, and hugged my kids. You will forever be remembered.”

To express her thankfulness for her husband, Trista wrote, “And lastly, thank you to my family, especially @ryansutter. Without you, I don’t know that I would be here today. You are my everything and I love you forevermore.”

The 44-year-old mother of two also encouraged her followers to be thankful for what they have.

“Tell the people you love how you feel and live with grateful enthusiasm,” she penned, and concluded, “I plan to.”

Trista and Ryan previously opened up to PEOPLE on how they make their love last since the cameras stopped rolling.

“The way we got together is so not normal. But we do live a normal life,” said Trista. “Yes, we met in a fantastical way, but it’s really what we did after the show that mattered.”

Added Ryan: “When the show was over, I saw Trista didn’t need the cameras. Our roots grew deeper and deeper.”

The Bachelorette airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.

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