Vanessa Sunshine Opens Up About The Health Struggle That Changed Her Life
"It's not easy, learning to walk again as an adult," she said. "It’s nothing like you think it is."
During her time in the Bachelor mansion this season, Vanessa Sunshine was quick to earn a reputation for not giving a f**k. Not about the bachelor himself, Nick Cummins, not about the girls or their opinions of her, not about anything.
What fans of the show may not know is that after a long battle with scoliosis, Vanessa underwent an eight-hour, life changing surgery that could have left her paralysed.
Speaking with ten daily, she described it as "a very difficult time... that honestly nearly destroyed me" but also said that the experience helped to mould her "attitude and outlook" on life.
For years before the operation, she said that she "just didn’t really understand what was happening with [her] body" and struggled to find anyone who could help.
"Everyone [was] like 'yeah, okay, you have scoliosis,' but no one could tell me what to do about it or how to fix it or how to manage it," she shared.
"It was just years and years of battling and figuring it out, and it was one of the big reasons I ended up moving to Melbourne," she added.
In Melbourne, Vanessa found an "amazing, amazing doctor" who finally offered her a solution, but said that although it had been a struggle to even get to that point, "the build up was nothing compared to the actual operation and the recovery process".
Explaining that because nearly her whole spine was going to be fused, "there was a real risk" that she could have ended up paralysed from the operation, but her doctor was "very, very skilled, thank goodness".
Still, the recovery process was incredibly difficult, and involved her having to learn to walk again.
"It's not easy, learning to walk again as an adult," she said. "It’s nothing like you think it is. It’s so painful, [and] having to relearn all these things, it’s just so restrictive."
She recalled breaking down in tears one day because she dropped some grapes on the floor during the recovery process.
"Because you can't bend down," she explained, "they had to stay there for a week until the lady from the doctor came to check on me. It was all [those] little things. I couldn't turn my head from side to side, I could only walk for very, very, very short periods of time, I couldn’t leave my house for months."
The experience, she said, has made her a better person.
"I think it just really put things in perspective for me, because as humans we think that tomorrow’s guaranteed and it’s not," she shared. "Without my health, I have nothing."
She continued: "It really shook me up, but in a good way. Now, it’s two years later, and I’m still figuring it out".
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Feature image: Ten