Demi Lovato Says She Has ‘Brain Damage’ After Suffering 3 Strokes and a Heart Attack During Her 2018 Overdose
"My doctors said that I had five to ten more minutes."
More than two years after her near-fatal drug overdose, singer Demi Lovato is opening up about the details and how it has affected her life.
On Wednesday, the trailer for Lovato's new YouTube documentary, "Demi Lovato: Dancing With the Devil," premiered—the singer's way of telling her fans and the public what happened before, during, and after her 2018 overdose. "I've had so much to say over the past two years, wanting to set the record straight about what it was that happened," she said in the trailer.
The trailer shows Lovato—along with friends and family—being interviewed, as well as snippets of Lovato's life pre-overdose. Then, a photo appears of Lovato's arm hooked up to an IV in the hospital. "I had three strokes. I had a heart attack. My doctors said that I had five to ten more minutes," she said, recounting what happened while she was hospitalized.
Lovato, now 28, was 25 at the time of her overdose. On July 24, 2018, the singer was rushed to a Los Angeles hospital after both the Los Angeles Fire and Police departments responded to a medical emergency at her Hollywood Hills home, People reported at the time. Lovato was allegedly unconscious when emergency workers arrived, and she was revived with Narcan, a medication used to treat narcotics overdoses, at the scene.
Eventually, Lovato was confirmed to be in stable condition at the hospital, and after nearly two weeks in the hospital, she eventually sought treatment at an in-patient treatment facility. Lovato reportedly dealt with addiction, mental illness, and disordered eating for years leading up to her overdose.
In addition to the documentary trailer, Lovato also appeared alongside Michael D. Ratner, the documentary's director, at a panel for the Television Critics Association. There, she went into even more detail about the lingering health issues she suffered following her overdose.
"I was left with brain damage, and I still deal with the effects of that today. I don't drive a car, because I have blind spots on my vision," she told reporters at the panel, per People. "And I also for a long time had a really hard time reading. It was a big deal when I was able to read out of a book, which was like two months later because my vision was so blurry."
Despite the repercussions of her overdose—and there were "a lot," she said—Lovato "wouldn't change a thing." Instead, she feels like those experiences are there to remind her "of what could happen if I ever get into a dark place again," she said. "I'm grateful for those reminders, but I'm so grateful that I was someone that didn't have to do a lot of rehabbing. The rehabbing came on the emotional side."
Overall, Lovato told People that "It was a painful journey, and I look back and sometimes I get sad when I think of the pain that I had to endure to overcome what I have, but I don't regret anything." She added that, despite it all, she's proud of the person she is today, "and I'm so proud that people get to see it in this documentary and I couldn't be more grateful that I had someone by my side."
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