Abby Lee Miller is now recovering after she ended up paralyzed and close to death.
The reality TV star was unable to speak as she was approached by paparazzi outside Cedars-Sinai Marina Del Rey Hospital in California. She also struggled to get out of her car.
"In a span of 24 hours, her condition rapidly deteriorated," Dr. Hooman M. Melamed, her orthopedic surgeon, told People magazine. "She was paralyzed from the neck down. Her blood pressure was starting to bottom out."
Miller reportedly fell ill while staying at a halfway house after her release from prison for bankruptcy fraud. It was originally believed that she had suffered a spinal infection.
But Melamed now believes that Miller has non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a form of cancer.
"If we didn't do something, she was going to die," Melamed said.
Miller had surgery Tuesday. Melamed said Miller has started to regain feeling after the paralysis, but added that she will need additional surgery.
"Nobody wants to end up thinking they're going to be paralyzed for the rest of their life," Melamed said. "That's a reality that's facing all of these patients going into it. 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."