Jeannie Mai's Fiancé Jeezy Opens Up About the Moment She 'Couldn't Breathe' Before Emergency Surgery
Jeannie Mai was forced to withdraw from Dancing with the Stars after she was diagnosed with epiglottitis
The rapper, 43, made a virtual appearance on Thursday's episode of The Real to speak to Mai's co-hosts and give an update on her road to recovery.
When Loni Love asked if her colleague was "actually resting" instead of focusing on work, Jeezy replied that it's "been hard to get her to rest, but she's doing well."
"I thank y'all for y'all prayers and y'all support," he said. "She's eating everything in the house, but she's definitely doing well."
Jeezy went on to detail how Mai, 41, was diagnosed with with epiglottitis, which "is a potentially life-threatening condition that occurs when the epiglottis — a small cartilage 'lid' that covers your windpipe — swells, blocking the flow of air into your lungs," according to Mayo Clinic.
"She began to get sick. She had some problems with her throat, and we took her to the doctor and they gave her a shot of steroids and everything was good," he recalled. "It happened again, and I just started to notice she was having problems breathing."
Jeezy said things came to a head when Mai woke up one morning and he saw that she "couldn't breathe."
"I grabbed her immediately, took her to the emergency room," the artist remembered. "They found something, but they didn't know."
The couple — who got engaged in April — then consulted with another doctor at the advice of another friend.
"The doctor immediately looked at her and told her, 'You're done with Dancing With The Stars. You're done. This is life-threatening. If you don't get it fixed right now, you could possibly lose your life.' "
Jeezy said hearing the news was "the hardest thing ever" because Mai is "not a quitter."
"She's a fighter," he said, adding that "right after the surgery, she was trying to figure out how to get back on that show."
RELATED VIDEO: Tyra Banks Cries While Honoring Jeannie Mai After Her DWTS Exit: 'We're All Emotional'
Mai was forced to withdraw from Dancing with the Stars earlier this month, confirming to PEOPLE in a statement, "It saddens me that I will not be able to continue with the competition on DWTS. My doctors discovered a health concern with my throat which requires immediate attention and surgery."
During last week's episode of the ABC reality dance competition series, host Tyra Banks announced that Mai had recorded a video for DWTS audiences, in which she opened up about the procedure and admitted that she was "absolutely devastated that my journey on Dancing with the Stars has to end this way."
"I found out that I have a throat abscess, where my tonsils and my throat had gotten so infected that it started permeating to the rest of the areas behind my neck and my ears that I had to get emergency surgery, which is why I'm here now," she said.
After the surgery, Mai was told by her doctor that "everything went great" while some alarming news was also disclosed to her in the hospital. "If you would have waited one more day, your throat would have closed up," he said.
Though Mai wasn't able to say goodbye to the show live in the ballroom, the series aired a heartfelt and empowering video package in her honor.
"I'm just so thankful I had the experience on Dancing with the Stars. It was hands down one of the best journeys of my life, so thank you so much and I love you guys," said Mai.
Last Thursday, Mai gave fans a post-surgery update on her Instagram Stories.
"4 DAYS POST SURGERY," Mai wrote alongside a mirror selfie, which showed her sporting a T-shirt and glasses as she gave a thumbs-up to the camera while standing in the bathroom of her hospital room.
"No speaking, No chewing," she wrote, and joked: "No bad tshirts."