Brooke Shields says she's 'a fighter' as she learns to walk again after broken femur
The one-time Calvin Klein jeans model, who broke her femur in February, opened up about her struggle to walk again in a People interview published Wednesday.
She first revealed her leg injury when posting an Instagram video last month of herself in a hospital gown taking extremely tentative steps with metal crutches, non-slip socks visible on her feet. A few days later, she later explained that a minor tumble while working on a balance board "snapped my femur."
"I kept saying, 'I can feel my toes,' because I was so afraid I was paralyzed," Shields told People.
"The Blue Lagoon" actress explained she underwent two surgeries, one to insert two metal rods into her hip and another to add five more rods and a metal plate to anchor it into place. After two-and-a-half weeks in the hospital, the "unthinkable" happened: She developed a staph infection which required another return to the emergency room.
"At first (the doctors) feared it might be MRSA (an antibiotic-resistant staph infection)," she recalled. "Thank God it wasn't. If it had been, my doctor said it would have been a race against time. That's how you can become septic."
Shields is now on her road to recovery and is re-learning how to walk, which she admitted is a difficult process. Sometimes, Shields said she feels she isn't able to "power through" her physical therapy workouts.
"I can't even stand on my leg or go up a step. I need to relearn how to even walk. The feeling of helplessness is shocking," she said.
Despite these moments of self-doubt, Shields insisted that these struggles reveal "if anything, I'm a fighter."
"I'm the only one that's going to be able to get through this," she said. "My career has actually been like that as well. One door gets slammed in my face and I search for another. It's not unlike how I felt when I wrote about postpartum depression in 2005."
She said she hopes her story will inspire others.
"This is my journey, and if it took me breaking the largest bone in my body, then recovery is something I want to share. We have to believe in ourselves and encourage one another. There's no other way to get through life, period."
Contributing: Bryan Alexander