In a British Vogue interview published Friday, the “Basic Instinct” star recalled the 2001 hemorrhage that left her with a nine-day brain bleed and 1% chance of survival. But Stone said that she was initially misdiagnosed by doctors and nearly sent home untreated.
“They missed it with the first angiogram and decided that I was faking it,” Stone told the outlet.
The Emmy winner had initially experienced a piercing head pain before “waking up on a gurney” at a Los Angeles hospital, she said. Believing the false-negative angiogram, a doctor decided without her knowledge to perform “exploratory brain surgery” — until she pushed back.
“What I learned through that experience is that in a medical setting, women often just aren’t heard,” she said.
A friend eventually helped convince doctors to give Stone a second angiogram. She was ultimately diagnosed with a ruptured artery, which can be the result of a physical trauma or other factors.
Stone was then treated by esteemed neurosurgeon Dr. Michael Lawton, but endured a harrowing recovery — in addition to a rapidly vanishing acting career.
“I bled so much ... that the right side of my face fell, my left foot was dragging severely, and I was stuttering very badly,” Stone told British Vogue.
“I would also get these weird knuckle-like knots that would come up all over the top of my head,” she added. “I can’t express how painful it all was.”
A former collaborator of Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro’s, Stone was sparsely cast in major movies after the stroke left her disabled. But she has found a second calling as a board member at the Barrow Neurological Foundation, which supports Lawton’s Barrow Neurological Institute.
“But you have to stand up and say, ‘Okay, that happened, and now what? What am I made of?’”