During a recent interview, Sharon Stone revealed that when she experienced a brain hemorrhage in 2001, the doctors suspected she was “faking” it.
In 2001, the Emmy-winning actress experienced a stroke that caused a nine-day brain bleed and resulted in a mere 1% chance of survival, prompting her to take a hiatus from Hollywood.
Speaking to Vogue, the 65-year-old star of Basic Instinct recounted the moment when she was hurried to the hospital after experiencing a “lightning bolt-like” pain in her head.
“I remember waking up on a gurney and asking the kid wheeling it where I was going, and him saying, ‘brain surgery,’” shared Stone. “A doctor had decided, without my knowledge or consent, that he should give me exploratory brain surgery and sent me off to the operating room.”
Continuing her discussion, the Casino star stated, “What I learned through that experience is that in a medical setting, women often just aren’t heard, particularly when you don’t have a female doctor.”
Due to the medical staff not taking her pain seriously, they initially overlooked her brain hemorrhage. “They missed it with the first angiogram and decided that I was faking it,” she explained.
However, Stone’s closest friend stood by her and spoke up on her behalf.
“My best friend talked them into giving me a second one and they discovered that I had been hemorrhaging into my brain, my whole subarachnoid pool, and that my vertebral artery was ruptured,” Stone stated. “I would have died if they had sent me home.”
Her journey to healing post-treatment encountered difficulties.
Following her hospitalization, she encountered challenges in walking and experienced a considerable weight loss. “I bled so much into my subarachnoid pool (head, neck, and spine) that the right side of my face fell, my left foot was dragging severely, and I was stuttering very badly,” Stone shared with Vogue.
During the initial phase of recuperation, Stone experienced stuttering, vision impairment, and memory loss, as she conveyed to PEOPLE earlier this month.
Throughout her recovery, she experienced “weird knuckle-like knots” appearing across the top of her head, likening the sensation to being “punched.” She emphasized the unimaginable level of pain she endured.
Two decades later, she went public with her health scares, noting to Vogue that she was worried about public reaction.
She confessed that she “hid” her disability. “[I] was afraid to go out and didn’t want people to know,” she remarked. “I just thought no one would accept me.”
Stone informed PEOPLE that she’s “become more comfortable with publicly saying what’s really happened to me, mentioning, “For a long time I wanted to pretend that I was just fine.”
She pointed out that the health scare has significantly influenced her, and she doesn’t get “hired a lot” because she’s a “disability hire.”
Stone currently serves on the board of the Barrow Neurological Foundation, an organization that backs the medical institute overseen by Stone’s brain surgeon, Dr. Michael Lawton, situated in Arizona.