Instagram Influencer and Model Emily Sears Undergoes Brain Surgery While Awake: 'Strange and Surreal'
The Australian model said she was diagnosed last year with "a cavernoma, which is a cluster of abnormal blood vessels in the brain which cause epileptic seizures"
Australian model Emily Sears revealed Monday that she underwent brain surgery last week.
In a lengthy Instagram post, Sears, 35, shared that she was diagnosed last year with "a cavernous malformation, otherwise known as a cavernoma, which is a cluster of abnormal blood vessels in the brain which cause epileptic seizures."
The Carl's Jr. model said that the diagnosis came after she was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance last April after "having a major seizure while shopping."
"My whole life was put on hold from that point on from my work life to my social life, my relationship with my body and my identity," Sears said, adding that the "past year of my life is so hard to put into words."
"This past year has been a rollercoaster of the up and downs of having multiple seizures, side effects of medication trials and the emotional toll of everything in my world changing so suddenly," she wrote alongside a photo from her hospital bed at UCLA's neurosurgery unit.
She later shared on Twitter that her boyfriend snapped the photo while she was sleeping after the operation.
Sears, who has modeled for Khloe Kardashian's Good American denim line, said that while undergoing a craniotomy posed the risk of losing her ability to speak, she chose to go through with it because "my choices came down to living on medication for the rest of my life, always living with the likelihood of having breakthrough seizures even while medicated — or going ahead with the craniotomy surgery."
The model recalled remaining awake during the operation, writing, "there [were] 2 surgeons and one waved at me.. it was as strange and surreal as it sounds!"
"Ultimately, this experience has changed my world view more than I could every [sic] express, and the overall feeling I am left with is gratitude," she continued.
"I have a deepened respect for the human body, the human mind and the human soul," she said. "I am humbly grateful for the ability to access healthcare, for the fact that my condition had a cure and for the support of my friends, family, industry peers and for my incredible man who has stuck by me the whole time."
The model concluded by thanking her followers for the "well wishes and love," as well as a reminder that Instagram "is never the whole picture of our lives; you don’t know what people are going through - so always be kind."