Toni Braxton Recalls Ignoring Life-Threatening Chest Pains She Thought Was Just Grief Over Sister’s Death
Toni Braxton is opening up about the nearly life-threatening health scare she experienced after bypassing chest pains as grief over the loss of her late sister Traci Braxton.
The “Un-Break My Heart” singer appeared on the “Today” show on Tuesday to open up about how systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) “attacked” her heart and led to her having a coronary stent placed to prevent a heart attack.
“It (was) put in at a really, really scary moment,” Braxton, 55, said, noting how “surreal” the experience was.
She had been experiencing chest pain that indicated something was off with her health. But the “He Wasn’t Man Enough” singer assumed the pain was just a part of mourning her sister Traci who passed away in March 2022.
“I just thought it was just sadness,” Braxton said. “It turned out to be much more serious, and I just dismissed the signs … and a lot of people tend to do that.”
The “Braxton Family Values” star had a doctor’s appointment that she considered skipping because she felt “fine.” But after going, she was told she needed to have a stent (a device used to hold open passages in the body) placed “immediately,” to prevent a heart attack.
“A couple days after they did the procedure they told me that it was touch and go,” Braxton said.
“I would have had a massive heart attack and would not have survived,” she added.
Now, as a paid spokesperson with Aurinia Pharmaceuticals’ Get Uncomfortable campaign, Braxton is partnered with the company to encourage other people living with lupus nephritis to complete routine testing to prevent kidney damage.
The “Breathe Again” singer has been transparent about having lupus since first making the revelation in 2010, two years after the Grammy award-winning singer received her diagnosis. She recalls initially being ashamed to talk about her diagnosis until others encouraged her to share her journey.
“It’s so empowering when people come up to me and say, ‘I have lupus, too, and you’ve helped me so much,’” she said.
“I feel proud of myself. I used to beat myself (up).”
Now she’s encouraging others to stay on top of their health through routine visits because you never know what your body could be telling you.
“You’ve got to get those screenings done,” Braxton said. “It’s very important.”
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