Actress Tamala Jones has revealed she suffered a brain aneurysm when she was 23, but kept it secret over fears the health scare would ruin her career by making her "look weak".
The Everybody Hates Chris star has told of her terror after a blood vessel in her brain ruptured, causing her to lose feeling in the right side of her body and collapse to the floor in her bathroom.
Jones recalls struggling through a day's work shooting the U.S. sitcom For Your Love before finally admitting herself to hospital, where doctors diagnosed her with the brain disorder.
She tells Black Enterprise, "I went to the hospital after work and the doctor thought that it was a miracle that I was even alive, walking or talking, or that I even worked an entire day before I got to him. After that, I started having seizures. I had MRIs (and) cat scans, and they found out that my aneurysm actually burst. Had it been on another side of my brain I probably would have been paralysed forever - it was on the left side of my brain... They said once that blood dried up I would get my feeling back."
It took Jones three months to recover and now she is hoping to use her experience to urge others to seek medical attention as soon as they feel any unusual pains.
She adds, "I hid the fact that I had an aneurysm for a very long time. I was embarrassed and I just felt like no one needed to know because it made me look weak... But I felt like it was my duty as a survivor to speak about it.
"I mention the aneurysm to anybody that I can... because it's something that happened to me and something that can happen to anybody in this world. If you are given warning then you can probably save your own life."