Hailey Bieber Had a Procedure to Close a Hole in Her Heart Following Stroke: 'The Scariest Moment of My Life'

Baldwin Bieber's doctors say birth control, COVID and a long flight were likely contributing factors to the stroke

Hailey Baldwin Bieber is opening up about her March 10 hospitalization for the first time.

In a video posted to her YouTube channel, the model, 25, detailed the scary ordeal, saying she wants to tell the story in her "own words."

She described feeling a "weird sensation" in her right arm while sitting at breakfast with her husband, Justin Bieber. Her fingertips felt "numb and weird," she says, and as her husband asked if she was okay, she found she "couldn't speak."

"The right side of my face started drooping, I couldn't get a sentence out," she recalls. "Immediately, I thought I was having a stroke."

A medic was nearby and began examining her as an ambulance was called. The facial drooping lasted about 30 seconds, she shared, but she was struggling to formulate words to answer questions being posed. Her anxiety was "making everything worse," Baldwin Bieber says.

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"By the time I got to the emergency room, I was pretty much back to normal – [I] could talk, [I] wasn't having any issues with my face or my arm."

Baldwin Bieber stayed overnight in the hospital and underwent a series of tests to determine what had caused the blood clot. She scored a 0 on the stroke checklist in the emergency room and was no longer experiencing symptoms. The tests revealed that she had suffered a TIA – a Transient Ischemic Attack, often called a mini-stroke.

Her scans showed that she experienced a lack of oxygen to her brain for a period of time, caused by the blood clot. Her doctors said a set of three recent events had contributed to the stroke. Baldwin Bieber had just started taking birth control without speaking to her doctor, and as a frequent sufferer of migraines, the birth control caused issues. She had also recently had COVID, and had been traveling "from Paris and back in a really short amount of time."

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She was discharged the following morning after her doctors believed the three recent events coalesced into a "perfect storm." They did not know how the blood clot had traveled to Baldwin Bieber's brain, and didn't believe that she was suffering from a PFO – a small opening in the heart that usually closes after birth.

She later visited UCLA for a follow-up, where she was diagnosed with a PFO after undergoing a transcranial doppler, a "more accurate" and "in-depth" ultrasound test used to detect strokes caused by blood clots.

She was diagnosed with a Grade 5 PFO – the "highest grade" possible. The small hole measured between 12 and 13 millimeters.

At that point, Baldwin Bieber said she was just "grateful" to know what had caused the stroke. Typically, a blood clot is filtered by the heart and absorbed into the lungs. Due to her PFO, the blood clot "escaped" through her heart and traveled to her brain.

Baldwin Bieber then underwent a procedure to close the PFO under her doctor's recommendation. A small, button-like object was inserted through the femoral vein in her groin to close the small hole. Eventually, her heart tissue will grow back around the closure device.

She shared that the PFO closure procedure went "very smoothly" and she's recovering fully.

In the lead-up to the closure, she suffered from really bad anxiety over the possibility of future symptoms, or another similar small stroke. Now, she's ready to look forward.

"The biggest thing I feel 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 move on from this really scary situation and just live my life."

Baldwin Bieber is now taking aspirin and blood thinners daily, and shared that she is no longer suffering from any related symptoms. At the end of the video, she shares a special shoutout to the doctors who helped treat her throughout the process.

She said she wanted to wait until the procedure had occurred and "everything had gone smoothly" before sharing the details of the experience publicly. She first announced she had undergone a small stroke in an Instagram post on March 12, and said that because it was already "kind of public," she wanted to give a full explanation.

"If there's anybody that watches this that has gone through the same thing or something similar, I definitely really empathize with you," she says as she ends the video. "And I understand how life-altering and scary it is."

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