Shay Mooney’s Sister Gabrielle Had Emergency Brain Surgery

Gabrielle Mooney — a singer-songwriter and the sister of Dan + Shay‘s Shay Mooney — is opening up about a traumatic medical emergency that nearly claimed her life in February 2023.

In an Instagram video, Mooney shares the story of the terrifying incident, which began on Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14) when she was traveling home to visit her family in Arkansas.

“[I] got a horrible headache. I get home, my mom finds me in the bathroom throwing up. I don’t remember any of this,” she details. “It was storming, so we couldn’t get a regular ambulance out, so they called up a private ambulance company.”

Eventually, Mooney was transported to a hospital called Fort Smith — and once she was there, her condition deteriorated further. “I died,” Mooney says matter-of-factly, adding that if the storms hadn’t prevented the ambulance from taking her to a different hospital, she might not be alive to share the story today. “[If it] wasn’t storming, they would have taken me to Little Rock, and they did not have the equipment to intubate me onboard, so God was with me on that,” she says.

Mooney had a very large cyst on her brain — so large she was referred to a “case study” because her doctor described it as “one of the biggest cysts he’d ever seen,” she shared — and she was also diagnosed with hydrocephalus. According to the Mayo Clinic, hydrocephalus is “the build-up of fluid in the cavities (ventricles) deep within the brain.” In Mooney’s case, it was nearly fatal.

“The hydrocephalus and everything should have killed me,” she recounts. “And it did not.”

Back in April, Mooney shared that she had brain surgery on the cyst, but she didn’t reveal the severity of the near-fatal medical emergency. Now that she’s ready to tell the full story, she says she’s been leaning on faith during her recovery: She concluded her post by sharing some scripture with her followers.

Mooney also admitted that she’s still feeling self-conscious about the facial paralysis she has experienced since the ordeal, which has resulted in some muscle weakness and an uneven smile.

“Still insecure about my smile because my face has not been the same ever since and I’ve had to do a lot of therapy for it,” she said, also acknowledging that her video post has a “heavy filter” because she’s “insecure right now.”

Still, Mooney ended her post with a message of gratitude and encouragement for others going through their own difficult seasons. “I love y’all and thank you Jesus for your never-ending love,” she wrote.

Country Stars Who Suffered Unthinkable Tragedy

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