"We're just so happy that she has light at the end of the tunnel," Brie Bella said of her mom

By Robyn Merrett
July 08, 2020 05:50 PM
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Brie Bella, Nikki Bella
Nikki Bella

Brie and Nikki Bella are opening up about how their mom Kathy Colace Laurinaitis is feeling after undergoing brain surgery late last month.

"She is now on the road to recovery, which will be about six months to a year," Brie said on Wednesday's episode of The Bellas Podcast.

The 36-year-old twin sisters, who are both expecting — Nikki with her fiancé, former Dancing with the Stars pro Artem Chigvintsev, and Brie with husband Daniel Bryan — were able to see Kathy post-surgery and "had a great conversation with her," said Brie.

"It's been so nice just to like see our mom be our mom again," Brie said, before sharing that Kathy is "very beat up."

Said Brie: "We're just so happy that she has light at the end of the tunnel."

Earlier in the podcast, Brie explained that Kathy was initially diagnosed with Bell's palsy, "or at least, they thought it was Bell's palsy" four months ago.

"Majority of her face was paralyzed ... it was her left side. You saw it a lot in her eye and her mouth and her forehead," Brie shared.

Nikki and Brie Bella with their mom Kathy
Nikki Bella/ Instagram

She revealed Kathy's condition worsened a couple of weeks ago when she woke up to her "whole face" being numb, and added that her mom was also "extremely dizzy" and "couldn't taste."

That's when Kathy's husband, John Laurinaitis, took her to the hospital, where doctors discovered that there was "a mass on our mother's brain stem as big as a blueberry," Brie shared.

"It was sticking out of her brain stem and it was starting to hit nerves," Nikki added. "It was growing rapidly."

Amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Brie said doctors debated about whether or not Kathy should wait to have surgery, but they ultimately proceeded with the operation as the mass was in a "fatal spot."

"My mom's actually so lucky that she saw the symptoms on her face because if she didn't have any symptoms and walking around with this, down the road it could've been fatal," Brie shared.

For Kathy's family, the surgery — which doctors said would be four to six hours — was quite daunting as it took longer than expected.

"On the seventh hour, we hadn't heard from any of the doctors," Nikki recalled. "So, you can imagine, we were super nervous. They just really took their time in there and they really cleaned everything out and wanted to double check."

Overall, Brie said the surgery was "very successful."

Kathy's diagnosis and health journey was also captured on camera.

"My mom really wanted the cameras to roll because, obviously, we were all like, 'No!' but my mom's like, 'Think of how many people out there think they have Bell's palsy, or they have certain symptoms and the doctors don't give them MRIs on their brain? And then, they find out they have these growths or tumors or cancer and it's so late in the game,' " Nikki said.

Last week, Nikki wrote on Instagram that "Mama Bella had a very successful surgery!"

"Can't thank you all enough for your prayers, love, light and beautiful words. Can't wait for my Mom to see how loved she is. It's going to mean the world to her. Now prayers for her recovery!" Nikki added.

Ahead of the surgery, the pregnant Total Bellas stars asked their fans for prayers and well wishes on Instagram.

"Our Mama Bella, our Gigi, our Gato is about to head into brain surgery," Nikki wrote. "I ask for so many prayers, so much light and love sent her way. Sadly they found what you can compare to a tumor on her brain stem that has been paralyzing her face. I have faith that the amazing doctors will do an incredible job and our Gigi will be on the road to recovery starting late today."