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Amanza Smith Opens Up About Spinal Infection: ‘I Almost Died’

Amanza Smith is a survivor.

The “Selling Sunset” star recently spent a month in the hospital and had two spinal surgeries to treat osteomyelitis, a rare and potentially life-threatening bone infection.

A month-long severe backache caused her to collapse so a close friend got her to the hospital to be checked out, which saved her life.

Amanza Smith’s Condition Was Advanced And She Could Have Died

Amanza Smith – Instagram

Smith went to the hospital in early June and had an MRI that found that she had vertebral osteomyelitis. A doctor told her that had she waited another day or two before going to the hospital, she “could have been dead.”

“I thought I had a backache, and I almost died,” Smith told PEOPLE. “The doctors and my friend saved my life.”

She was put on IV antibiotics and had her first surgery on her lower spine to “clear the infection” from her bones.

The reality star’s osteomyelitis cause couldn’t be determined by doctors, and it had also infected another area in the front of her spine. This area initially looked too dangerous to operate on as it was close to her aorta and kidney.

“The risk was the antibiotics wouldn’t penetrate the bone, and my entire back could collapse,” she said.

A second surgery became necessary, which was more intense than the last. It lasted six hours. Doctors inserted a titanium mesh cage in her back with screws and rods holding the spine together.

Amanza Smith – Instagram

Smith shared her journey on Instagram giving her friends and followers information on what’s going on and how she’s doing along the way.

She first revealed what was going on with a video montage on June 11, a little over a week after being admitted to the hospital.

“Over a month ago and all of this started I thought that I had a bulging disk or a slipped disc or something wrong with my lower back that was regular. I laid in pain in my house for several days. I cried. I took Tylenol. I went to urgent care. I didn’t know what it was but after over a month of excruciating pain I finally started to get some answers,” she wrote in her caption.

“I got an MRI and a CT scan and then was told that I need to go to Cedar Sinai. I came to Cedar Sinai last Friday thinking that I was going to get another scan on my back and then go home. Instead, I was admitted and they immediately started testing me for things in my blood. Come to find out I had an infection in my blood that had caused, a great deal of infection to be spread to the bones of my spine and it’s called osteomyelitis.”

Amanza Smith Is On The Road To Recovery

Amanza Smith – Instagram

While she’s not fully healed just yet, Smith is on her way!

She was discharged from the hospital on July 3 and has six more months of antibiotics and some physical therapy to aid in her full recovery.

“There are so many things I can’t do, because I can’t lift more than five pounds. Sometimes my purse is too heavy,” she told PEOPLE. “You can’t speed up time, but I’m very anxious to be able to do the things that I love to do. I like to decorate. I like to rearrange. I want to be able to hang things, but I’m very limited right now.”

Out of her health scare came a new perspective. She called it “a rebirth.”

“You know who your friends are when you become a burden. It’s like a rebirth. I will never take my mobility for granted again,” she said. “When I can walk and jog again and do Pilates or ballet, I hope I stick to them because I plan on living to be 107.”

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