‘At first they feared it might be MRSA [a type of bacteria resistant to antibiotics],’ she recalled. ‘Thank God it wasn’t. If it had been, my doctor said it would have been a race against time. That’s how you can become septic. It seemed unthinkable.’
Being in the hospital was an isolating time for Shields, who wasn’t able to see her husband Chris Henchy and daughters Rowan, 17, and Grier, 14 because of COVID-19 restrictions.
Harrowing: Shields sustained a life-changing injury when she fell off a balance board and flew into the air, landing on her upper leg and breaking the largest bone in the body
Road to recovery: The injury required surgery, stabilising the break with two metal rods, but complications meant she had to have further surgery to insert five rods and a metal plate
‘I’ll never forget how hard the doctors and nurses worked and hearing their stories about COVID,’ she says. ‘I have asthma but I kept thinking, “I feel blessed I can breathe.”‘
Returning home for a second time, Brooke said she was told: ‘Your road is just about to begin.’
At first she thought she could power through healing, asking to do twice-a-day workouts instead of the recommended once-a-day physical therapy.
It made her realise that ‘for the first time in my entire life, I thought, “I can’t power through this.”‘
‘I can’t even stand on my leg or go up a step. I need to relearn how to even walk. The feeling of helplessness is shocking.’
Family: Being in the hospital was an isolating time for Shields, who wasn’t able to see her husband Chris Henchy and daughters Rowan and Grier (above), because of COVID restrictions
Life-changing: ‘This is my journey, and if it took me breaking the largest bone in my body, then recovery is something I want to share,’ the screen star told People
But, added the brunette beauty defiantly: ‘If anything, I’m a fighter.’
As she continues to heal, Brooke is focusing on her inner strength while celebrating every small success.
‘I’m the only one that’s going to be able to get through this,’ she says.
‘My career has actually been like that as well. One door gets slammed in my face and I search for another. It’s not unlike how I felt when I wrote about postpartum depression in 2005.
‘This is my journey, and if it took me breaking the largest bone in my body, then recovery is something I want to share. We have to believe in ourselves and encourage one another. There’s no other way to get through life, period.’
Gratitude: Though Brooke’s bout with staph was terrifying, she said she was grateful because doctors feared the infection could be far worse. Pictured in 2019
Subscribe to the newsletter news
We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe