‘Dancing with the Stars’ Alum Kim Zolciak will have Surgery to Fix a Hole in her Heart

By Cheri Cheng - 09 Oct '15 15:07PM

Kim Zolciak-Biermann had a major health scare when she suffered from a mini stroke one night after practicing her dance for the ABC dancing competition show, "Dancing with the Stars." The "Don't Be Tardy" reality star and mother of six, who is stable but no longer a competitor on the show, opened up about her condition on Good Morning America.

"I had a blood clot, they don't know if it came from my leg or my pelvis," Zolciak-Biermann, 37, said in the interview that aired Thursday night. "Most people have a filter so it can't cross over to the other side of your heart, but because I do have a valve - they call it a hole, but it's more like a valve that never closed when I was born - the blood clot was able to transfer and go through the hole, which stopped oxygen to my brain on the right side of my brain."

She continued, "I said, 'My aunt had a stroke, she had two of them before they found this hole in her heart,' so they kind of immediately were looking for that."

Zolciak-Biermann was hospitalized on Sept 23 when she was still a competitor on "Dancing With the Stars." Although she was cleared to dance, Zolciak-Biermann was not able to fly to Los Angeles to preform with pro Tony Dovolani and subsequently had to withdraw. The dancing couple tried to campaign for their spot back but the producers of the show stated that they would not be able to compete. However, they will be able to dance in the season finale.

Zolciak-Biermann will now be focused only on her recovery. She revealed that her doctors gave her two choices: take blood thinners for a long period of time or undergo surgery. Zolciak-Biermann stated that she has chosen to get heart surgery but did not mention when she will be having the procedure done.

Even though the journey will be scary, Zolciak-Biermann is thankful that she found out about her condition now rather than later, when it might have been too late.

"Had I not been so active with Dancing with the Stars and also flying - that's probably what in essence caused the blood clot - it really is a blessing in disguise," Zolciak-Biermann said. "Because now I can really fix it and move on instead of having a true stroke where I never recover, or my doctor said a massive heart attack."

She added, "You really don't realize how precious life is and how something can just - it literally happened in a second and my whole life changed."

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