Total Bellas stars Nikki and Brie's mom, Kathy Laurinaitis, underwent brain surgery on June 30, 2020 after doctors found a tumor on her brain stem. It was a major, risky surgery, and her recovery period was set to last between six months and a year. So fans are wondering, how is she doing now?
Kathy revealed that she has been experiencing a condition called Bell's palsy, which can cause paralysis or weakness of the facial muscles. She says her symptoms have improved somewhat. However, she expressed a great deal of concern about whether she would ever be able to fully recover.
Nikki and Brie Bella's mom gave a health update on 'Total Bellas.'
"Five percent don't fully recover from Bell's palsy," Kathy explained in a recent episode of Total Bellas. "At the end of the day, if it ended up like this, it's better than three weeks ago, but the longer I go on the more I think, 'Am I going to have a full recovery?'"
As Kathy also pointed out, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic came with an unexpected upside, as she felt more comfortable going out in public with a face covering.
"Wearing masks, going to do the groceries ... it's awesome because no one sees what's going on," she said in a recent episode of Total Bellas.
It appears that Kathy is doing better now. Nonetheless, she is likely still waiting for one of the symptoms of Bell's palsy — the stiffness of facial muscles — to clear up.
Kathy had to undergo brain surgery just before Nikki and Brie gave birth to their sons.
The past year has been an emotionally-charged period for the TV show stars. Nikki and Brie not only learned that they were pregnant at the same time, but they also ended up giving birth to their sons 22 hours apart.
Nikki's son with her fiancée, Artem Chigvintsev, was born on Friday, July 31, 2020, while Brie's son with her husband of six years, Daniel Bryan, came into the world on Aug. 1, 2020.
The twin sisters learned about their mom's diagnosis when they were in the third trimester — which caused unimaginable stress for both.
"It was actually very shocking, I feel like I kind of went numb, I think because you just don't ever expect hearing something bad about your parents. My mom is the rock of our family, and you just always think they are going to be the strongest person you know for the rest of your life," Nikki explained during an appearance on The Dr. Oz Show.
The diagnosis left the whole family in a state of shock. For a while, Kathy was torn between going ahead with the surgery and meeting her grandkids first.
In the end, she chose to discuss the matter with her daughters, telling them that she would be willing to postpone the surgery if that meant that she would be able to hold the newborns at least once.
"My mom called and asked us because Nicole and I were due in three weeks, my mom's surgery was three weeks before we were going to have the babies, and my mom's like, 'Should I wait so I can make sure I hold my grandkids?'" Brie told show host Mehmet Oz.
"The doctors did ask my mom there like, 'Do you want to hold your future grandkids before you have the surgery?' Because they don't know the outcome of the surgery," Brie added.
"Nicole and I were like, 'No mom. This is your health. This is your life. This is an emergency. You need to do this, and we believe that you are going to be able to hold your grandkids," Brie said.
Fortunately, Kathy chose to go ahead with the plans, and the surgery went well. It took place on June 30, 2020. She posted her first photo with Mattheo and Buddy, her grandsons, on Aug. 26, 2020.
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