Heather Childers, co-host of “Fox & Friends First,” returned to work on Tuesday after a medical emergency in July.
Childers said she was excited to be back at work, but wanted to share some health advice with her viewers.
“I want to share my story with all of you reading this, along with my TV audience, because I want you to learn from a big mistake I made,” she wrote on Fox News.
Childers shared that she has had several health concerns over the past few years, but never expected them to be related and always found some way to explain them away as unimportant.
For example, when, a year before her health crisis, Childers experienced a numb feeling in her legs along with shooting pains and cramping, she “blamed it on low potassium, lack of sleep, or stress,” and her low iron and vitamin D deficiency diagnoses.
Then, Childers began to drop things and her arms and legs became very weak.
Later, after covering a story at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, she experienced what she described as not only “numb legs,” but “flat-out falling down, with my right leg dragging.”
But it wasn’t until four days of a non-stop headache when Childers decided to have an MRI of her brain, and then her neck. And she was glad she did.
After consulting with four neurosurgeons, it was established that Childers and had a health condition called cervical spinal stenosis with myelopathy, meaning her spinal cord was being compressed against her neck, and hyperreflexia, which caused her involuntary nervous system to overreact to stimuli.
The compression in her neck came from a car accident when she was just 16 years old. In the accident she suffered neck and head trauma, but she never realized the neck trauma was continuing to get worse.
Childers needed surgery as soon as possible, or she risked becoming paralyzed later in life.
— Heather Childers (@HeatherChilders) September 4, 2018
She had her surgery at New York’s Columbia University Medical Center, then flew to North Carolina to stay with her parents during recovery. Her father was also recovering from radiation treatments for prostate cancer.
Childers describes herself as a very athletic person who enjoys many physical activities. During her recovery she has been able to get back into these activities gradually, and is up to walking two miles in 90 minutes.
— Fox & Friends First (@FoxFriendsFirst) September 4, 2018
“Take it from me: ignoring a health problem won’t make it go away,” she said. “Don’t make excuses when you are dealing with real physical symptoms, or wait for a medical emergency before you see a doctor.”
You can see Childers on “Fox & Friends First” on weekdays between 4 and 5 a.m.
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