Abby Lee Miller undergoes emergency surgery
4/18/2018, 7:39 a.m.
By Lisa Respers France, CNN
(CNN) -- Abby Lee Miller's doctor says the reality TV star has undergone surgery after she almost died.
Dr. Hooman M. Melamed told People that Miller started deteriorating after she experienced "excruciating neck pain" and weakness in her arm.
"Not just her pain, but her weakness started getting worse," the orthopedic surgeon told the magazine. "In the span of 24 hours, which was something that I have not seen, her condition rapidly deteriorated. She was completely paralyzed from the neck down."
The "Dance Moms" star was being treated at Cedars-Sinai Marina Del Rey Hospital when her blood pressure dropped dangerously low, Melamed said.
The doctor said tests determined "an infection that had spread from the bottom of her neck all the way to the lower part of her back ... which is extremely unusual."
"If we didn't do something, she was going to die," Melamed said. "Her blood pressure was bottoming out. She was not doing well."
Miller had surgery Tuesday.
The surgeon said it's a mystery why Miller's condition went bad so rapidly and added that she's made some recovery in the 24 hours since then.
"Nobody wants to end up thinking they're going to be paralyzed for the rest of their life. That's a reality that's facing all of these patients going into it," Melamed said. " All you can do is pray and, as a surgeon, you maximize everything you can for the spinal cord to recover itself. I am hopeful."
In 2017, Miller was sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison followed by two years of supervised release for bankruptcy fraud. She moved to a residential re-entry facility in March.
Melamed said that barring any complications Miller could be released to a rehabilitation center in a few days to continue her recovery.