Alison Brie was just a 7-year-old running around her school’s playground when her life almost changed forever – she temporarily went blind after falling backward and hitting her head on the concrete ground. But there was a real fear the blindness would become permanent.
During an appearance on Dr. Priyanka Wali and “Will & Grace” star Sean Hayes‘ health podcast “HypochondriActor“, the “GLOW” star detailed the harrowing ordeal that occurred after bumping into a girl four times her size. After hitting the ground, Brie says thankfully her older sister, Lauren, was there and walked her to the nurse’s office.
She didn’t know the term at the time, but it was obvious to Brie she had suffered a concussion. The “Mad Men” star said she felt “a little out of it” after walking to the nurse’s office.
“I just feel out of it and foggy, but I can still see,” she recalled. “The women in the office are like, ‘Just go lay her head down and have her close her eyes.’ They put us in a dark room.”
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Without skipping a beat, Dr. Wali advises that, following a head injury, lying down and closing one’s eyes is a major no-no.
“You want to keep the person awake because if they lose consciousness, it could be a sign that there’s more serious underlying bleeding,” Wali, a licensed and practicing physician who specializes in internal medicine, said. “If you put them to sleep, you don’t know at what point did they start to lose consciousness. And you need to get a CAT scan and you need to go to the emergency room if you’re starting to lose consciousness after you’ve hit your head.”
The effects of the violent collision soon started settling in, as Brie explained she started forgetting what had happened. This, of course, prompted her sister to “freak out.” Brie said her dad eventually picked them up and they started driving to the hospital, but things only got worse from there.
“My dad arrives and I sort of don’t remember anything,” Brie explains. “Like the next part of my memory is, I’m in the backseat of my dad’s car and boom – I can’t see a thing,” she said. “It’s sort of like how, when you close your eyes, it’s black, but you can a little bit see light and shadows.”
Brie says she started crying hysterically asking, “Now I’m just blind?” And it still got worse before things finally got better.
While on their way to the hospital, Brie said her dad got into a fender bender, which resulted in Brie ending up on the car’s floor. She said she thought she wasn’t wearing her seatbelt. But worse than that, Brie said her dad had to call a friend to drive Brie to the hospital while her dad dealt with the aftermath of the car accident.
Brie said she ultimately underwent a CAT scan, and doctors relayed a message to her parents that no mother and father ever want to hear: “If her vision doesn’t come back in 12 hours, she’ll likely be blind for the rest of her life.”
The actress said she remembers waking up. At that point, some 10 hours had passed since the initial collision, and she remembers her parents racing to her bed desperately asking her if she can see them.
“At this point I sort of have no recollection,” Brie recalled. “You know, I, like, wake up in this hospital bed. I can see everybody. I’m like, ‘Yeah?’” Brie stayed at the hospital for a few days for further observation. But once home, there was still no sense of comfort because “my parents would wake me up every couple of hours to check my vision.”
Fortunately for Brie, there are no lingering issues following the freak accident. And, for good measure, Brie says she has near-perfect vision.
“I think I only got my eyes checked last year or the year before last because they were going to make contacts for me for a job,” she explained. “I was like, ‘Oh yeah. How is my vision these days?’ She was like, ‘It’s almost 20/20. It’s like 20 and 19 and three-quarters.’ I’ve had great vision ever since.”
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