Health + Wellness

NeNe Leakes’ Son Recovering from Stroke & Heart Failure at 23 –

(Photo credit: Instagram)

Just a few weeks ago we reported that former “Real Housewives of Atlanta” star Nene Leakes’ son, Brentt Leakes, was rushed to the hospital for suffering heart failure and a stroke at the young age of 23.

Now, two months later, Nene posted to her Instagram story a video of him walking on his own with cheers from the nursing staff.

“You’re walking out! Isn’t that great?” NeNe Leakes said in a video on her Instagram story.

Leakes said Brentt had trouble speaking after his medical emergency but he stayed in good spirits.

Stroke survivors with right-brain injuries frequently have speech and communication problems. Many of these individuals have a hard time pronouncing speech sounds properly because of the weakness or lack of control in the muscles on the left side of the mouth and face. This is called “dysarthria.”

Doctors are still trying to figure out what caused the 23-year-old’s health issues, his mother says. Leakes said doctors have ruled out her son’s weight playing a factor and they have speculated that it could be a disease he has had since birth that only just flared up. She said stress may have also been a factor.

And yes, it has been stressful for the Leakes’ family in the past couple of years with Brentt’s father and Nene’s husband Gregg Leakes’ battle with and ultimately passing away from colon cancer last year.

Although heart failure, like what Brentt experienced, is a serious condition that progressively gets worse over time, certain cases can be reversed with treatment. Even when the heart muscle is impaired, there are a number of treatments that can relieve symptoms and stop or slow the gradual worsening of the condition.

Treatment options depend on the type, cause, symptoms, and severity of the heart failure. Usually, more than one therapy is used.

A number of conditions can contribute to Brentt’s heart failure. Treatment of these other factors may range from surgery or angioplasty to open clogged blood vessels in patients with coronary artery disease to medications prescribed to control high blood pressure, diabetes, anemia or thyroid disease. In addition, it’s particularly important to treat abnormal heart rhythms called arrhythmias in patients with heart failure.

(Photo credit: Instagram)

These modifications often improve or control some of the factors contributing to heart failure. For example, people with heart failure will see an improvement if they:

  • Modify daily activities and get enough rest to avoid stressing the heart
  • Eat a heart-healthy diet that is low in sodium and fat
  • Don’t smoke and avoid exposure to second-hand smoke
  • Don’t drink alcohol or limit intake to no more than one drink two or three times a week
  • Lose weight
  • Avoid or limit caffeine intake
  • Get regular exercise, which may include a physical rehabilitation program, once symptoms are stable
  • Reduce stress
  • Weigh yourself daily, for a sudden increase may signal fluid build-up
  • Keep track of symptoms and report any changes
  • Have regular checkups to monitor the condition

Now, as far as his stroke is concerned, Brentt still may not be out of the woods yet. If someone has had a stroke, they are at high risk for another stroke.

  • 1 in 4 stroke survivors has another stroke within 5 years.
  • The risk of stroke within 90 days of a transient ischemic attack (TIA) may be as high as 17%, with the greatest risk during the first week.

That’s why it’s important to treat the underlying causes of stroke, including heart disease, high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation (fast, irregular heartbeat), high cholesterol, and diabetes. Your doctor may give you medications or tell you to change your diet, exercise, or adopt other healthy lifestyle habits. Surgery may also be helpful in some cases.

Nene also shared on Wednesday videos of her son’s workouts during physical therapy.

“Oh my god, you have no idea how Brentt came in here. Two months later, Brentt is walking out.”

Leakes posted the nursing staff with her son with the caption “Nurses are the best.”

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