The first “Bachelorette” star, Trista Sutter, who had a seizure while she was vacationing with her family in Croatia, opened up about the scary medical emergency and how she is dealing with the unanswered questions about her health.
“All I remember was feeling very dizzy and nauseous, and the next thing I knew, I was in this dream. The only way I can describe it is was like a white euphoria,” Sutter recalled in an interview with “Good Morning America.”
Sutter was on a tour with her husband, Ryan Sutter, whom she met on the series in 2003, and their son Maxwell, 9, and daughter, Blakesley, 8, when she seized violently and landed on top of her daughter.
“I heard Blakesley screaming, ‘Mommy, Mommy,” Ryan recalled. “Trista had fallen onto Blakesley in a sort of convulsive state.”
Ryan, a trained EMT, said despite dealing with his share of emergencies, seeing his wife in this position was terrifying.
“I was checking her pulse. She was shaking and stiff. Her eyes were wide open … rolled back in her head, looking sort of up. She wasn’t breathing. She was turning sort of blue,” he explained.
Sutter said that she’s worried about how the incident may have affected her daughter.
“She was traumatized, I think she probably still is a bit,” Sutter said of Blakesley. “She knows that something is wrong.”
Sutter was rushed to a hospital in the eastern European country where she underwent various tests. She told ABC News doctors did not find anything conclusively wrong with her, but warned her not to drive until she consults a neurologist in the U.S.
“It’s changing my life, still is, to this day. I mean I got up this morning — and I thought, ‘I need to go to the grocery store’ — and then I’m like, ‘Oh I can’t drive.’ Because God forbid, I have another seizure or event in the car. And I could kill someone, I could kill myself. I could kill my kids,” she said. “I have to have a new perspective in order to keep me and my family and everyone around me safe.”
Now back home, Sutter said she plans to see a specialist.
At 44, the former reality show star led a healthy and active lifestyle and said there were no signs of illness that she noticed besides an occasional headache.
“In this type of situation, you usually ask, ‘Why me?’ But then I thought right immediately after, ‘But why not me? I’m human. This can happen to me … this could happen to anybody.'”
For that reason, the couple decided to share the health incident with the world, in a post from the hospital on Instagram.
“We were rather conflicted to tell anyone about it, or to post about it,” Ryan said. “We didn’t want to come across as capitalizing off some sort of medical emergency.”
This was me yesterday. …two hours after I had a seizure. …two hours after I fell on my daughter’s chest & she watched, along with her brother & grandparents, in confusion & horror as her mommy stared blankly off into the distance & started turning blue. …two hours after we were supposed to have an adventure. An adventure to one of the most beautiful National Parks in Europe. Instead, I ended up in a euphoric white dream that the voices of my husband and daughter pulled me from and I ended up in a Croatian hospital being poked and prodded and wondering “why me?” But today, I had to ask, “why not me”? I’m human. I have an expiration date. I’ve always envisioned that date being sometime after my kids have graduated college, met the loves of their lives and created families of their own, but I was reminded yesterday that it could come anytime, in any country, whether I’m surrounded by strangers or people I love, or neither, or both. I’ve never been perfect and I never will be, but from here on out, I vow to try my best to live this life to the fullest. To embrace gratitude and the lessons I wrote about over 3 years ago with a newly acquired perspective. To stress less. To love more. To listen. Be kind. Spread joy. To be a better version of myself as a wife, mother, sister, cousin, niece, aunt, neighbor, daughter, and friend. Thank you to those back in the states, whom I hold dear. You know who you are. Thank you to those I’ve never met who lift me up and have my back. Thank you to those from my #bachelornation family who’ve shown this OG kindness & respect when I know I’m old news. Thank you to the kind tourists & Croatians who held my hand, wiped my tears, and hugged my kids. You will forever be remembered. And lastly, thank you to my family, especially @ryansutter. Without you, I don’t know that I would be here today. You are my everything and I love you forevermore. If you’ve gotten this far, know that I don’t share these words for your pity, but to inspire you to take them and be thankful for your life and blessings. Tell the people you love how you feel and live with grateful enthusiasm. I plan to.
A post shared by Trista Sutter (@tristasutter) on Jun 2, 2017 at 12:27pm PDT
Sutter said she’s received an outpouring of support from fans and people she’s never met and wants to “be that voice for people who have gone through something similar.”
“A lot of people have shared that for them, [seizures are] an embarrassing thing that happened … it’s embarrassing to lose control of your body. And I think a lot of people feel alone out there, and I want them to know, they’re not,” she said.
While she may never know what caused the seizure or if it’ll happen again, Sutter believes that stress may have played a role and vows to make some life changes.
“You do tend to just get wrapped up in daily life. I wanna try my hardest to not let the impact of what happened disappear. I want to be able to live my life fully and as best as I can without getting caught up in the minutia, you know, and the drama and the negativity. If there’s any negativity, I wanna instantly, you know, shoo it away.
“Life is fragile. It’s precious. And you need to take time and enjoy it and the people around you,” Sutter added.