Sharon Stone reflects on the stroke that almost killed her – and her challenging experience with medics who didn’t believe her symptoms were serious.
In a new interview with Vogue UKThe 65-year-old Oscar winner opened up about her life-threatening stroke in 2001, which resulted in a nine-day brain hemorrhage. To add insult to injury, Stone said her doctors at the time believed she was faking her condition.
“They missed it on the first angiogram and decided I was faking it,” he said Basic instinct Star explains. It was only after her best friend persuaded her to give her a second one that they discovered she had a brain bleed. “My vertebral artery was torn. I would have died if they had sent me home.”
Stone’s experience with her doctors is commonly referred to as “medical gaslighting,” in which medical professionals lead patients to believe that their symptoms are all in their heads. This can often lead to delayed diagnosis or incorrect treatment of a condition. Research shows that this experience is more common black, Patients with obesityAnd WomenInsider reported.
Stone told the magazine that she believes the denial of her suffering is largely tied to her gender.
“Through this experience, I learned that women are often simply not heard in medical settings, especially when there is no female doctor,” she explained.
Initially, Stone was given a 1% chance of survival following brain surgery, but his life was saved by a procedure called endovascular coiling. However, she struggled to recover and noted that she stuttered, had difficulty walking and suffered from depression. She said she “felt like she was being beaten” during the first few years of her recovery.
She thanked friends like Michael J. Fox, who has spoken openly about his battle with Parkinson’s disease, and Steven Spielberg for their support and motivation during her difficult time.
“I hid my disability and was afraid to go out and didn’t want people to know,” she added. “I just thought no one would accept me.”
Despite her struggles, Stone is quick to point out that her disability does not define her.
“I think a lot of people identify with their illness as ‘I am this thing,’ and it can’t be your identity,” she told Vogue UK. “I lost so much and I could have let that define me. But you have to stand up and say, ‘Okay, this happened, now what? What am I made of?’”
In her 2021 memoir The beauty of living twiceStone wrote that she thought she was dying at the time of her stroke and even asked her mother to get to the hospital as quickly as possible to “get there in time.” She had a “white light” experience and felt like she was falling when she saw people who had died.
“It was so quiet in the room,” she continued to tell Willie Geist Sunday TODAY in 2021. “When the room is so quiet and no one is running around trying to fix you, that’s when you realize how close death is and how serious everything is.”
Stone’s stroke wasn’t the first time she’d been in conflict with her medical team. Stone told the British newspaper the times In 2021, during surgery to remove benign tumors in 2001, she discovered that her surgeon enlarged her breast without her consent while she lay on the operating table.
When she confronted him, Stone said he told her he “thought I would look better with bigger, better breasts.”
Despite her difficulties, Stone is living her best life. She told People earlier this month that she’s found a strong wellness routine to support her health, which includes eight hours of uninterrupted sleep a night “so I don’t get attacks.” But she also has a flourishing second career as a painter, as she wrote in September 2022 issue of Vogue Arabia that she is experiencing a personal renaissance.
“I feel like this is the most exciting and creative time of my life,” she shared.