Toni Braxton is opening up about overcoming the last few months since having surgery for complications from her lupus diagnosis. The 55-year-old singer and actress, who was diagnosed in 2008, said she suffered pain in her chest that led her to be hospitalized.
“The Braxton Family Values” star normally stays on top of her health, but she recently admitted to slipping up last year and dismissing what were the early signs of a heart attack.
“I kept putting it off thinking, ‘Oh, I’m fine. I’ll be OK’ But my doctor was persistent and I went to get tested in the last week of September,” Braxton told People magazine. “I did a specialized test and they looked at my heart and saw some abnormalities. I found out that I needed a coronary stent. My left main coronary artery was 80 percent blocked.”
“The doctors told me I could’ve had a massive heart attack,” she continued. “I would not have survived.”
Related: Toni Braxton Says Having Lupus Led to Her Divorce
Braxton shared that she’s been hospitalized “more times than I care to admit” from the disease that has caused her heart and kidney complications for the last 15 years. She was diagnosed with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), the most common form of lupus. It causes inflammation of your organs and can affect your digestive system, muscles, heart, nervous system, and other parts of the body, according to the Lupus Foundation of America.
The singer further discussed her diagnosis in her 2011 memoir, “Unbreak My Heart: A Memoir,” noting that her uncle also died from lupus. She explained that she deals with her flare-ups day by day and sometimes doesn’t feel her best.
But this time was much different, and it arrived months after losing her sister, Traci Braxton, who passed in March 2022.
“It was a traumatic moment for me. I was in shock,” Toni remembered. “I remember that day because my chest was aching often, just hurting. And I thought I was just sad because unfortunately, my sister had just passed and I thought, ‘Wow, I’m really aching in my heart for my sister.’ And come to find out, of course I was sad about my sister, but I also had underlying health issues,” she revealed. “It was my body talking to me, telling me something’s not quite right.”
After a series of tests, the “Un-break My Heart” songstress had emergency surgery to insert a tube to help keep a passageway open in her heart. She said she’s grateful for the “scary moment,” which taught her to always get tested every three months as she does now.
“If all I have to do for my lupus and my kidney health is pee in a cup, I can pee in a cup. How many times do you need me to pee? If all I gotta do is get my arm pricked for some blood? Oh yes, I can do that. How many vials do you need?”
Braxton has two sons, Denim, 21, and Diezel, 20. The mom of two admitted that she’s had good and bad days since the stent was placed in her heart. But the support of her family has helped keep her spirits high.
“I’m going to be honest, sometimes the bad days get me down. I’m not superwoman. I like to think I am. I like to feel like I’m that boss b— all the time, but I’m also a human,” she shared. “When my body tells me to take it down and relax, I have to listen to it.”
Ahead of Lupus Awareness Month in May, Braxton partnered with Aurinia’s Get Comfortable campaign to encourage others with lupus to get regular routine checkups as often as possible to prevent kidney damage.
“I know we get tired of going to the doctor’s and getting tests done … but it’s worth it, because it can help prevent further kidney damage,” she wrote in her caption on Instagram. “I’d like to invite everyone to #GetUncomfortable with me and do things for their kidney health that may not be fun, but are important.”
Braxton has details about her ongoing battle on her family’s reality show, “The Braxton Family Values,” and in different interviews. Three years after her diagnosis, she split from her now-ex-husband, singer Keri Lewis, and she previously stated that her health led to their divorce.
Braxton is not the only entertainer who has openly discussed a lupus diagnosis. Other celebrities with the same battle include Trick Daddy, Nick Cannon, Seal, “America’s Next Top Model” finalist Mercedes Yvette, MBL player Tim Raines and the late Michael Jackson.
2 thoughts on “‘Could’ve Had a Massive Heart Attack’: Toni Braxton Had ‘Traumatic’ Heart Surgery, Says Her Left Main Artery ‘Was 80 Percent Blocked’”
This article was very informative and eye opening, Thank You Dr Phil, Mz Toni Braxton and guest Dr. on information concerning LUPUS.
I went to see miss Braxton in Philadelphia Pennsylvania back in 1997 at wells Fargo she gives a fine show