T-Boz Left Partially Blind And Deaf After Brain Tumour Surgery

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January 2, 2013 | 2:11pm EST

Tlc star T-Boz was left partially blind and deaf after undergoing brain surgery in 2006.
The singer, real name Tionne Watkins, has struggled with health problems since she was seven after being diagnosed with a potentially-fatal blood disorder, sickle cell anaemia.
She tells CNN.com, “I was told I wouldn’t live past 30, I would be disabled my whole life and I would never become a mother. My daughter is Chase. She’s 12. I’ve traveled the world in one of the best groups ever. I’m 42.”
However, a few years ago she was dealt another blow when doctors discovered a small tumour on her brain: “They’re like, ‘You know, sickle cell can cause complications because it will turn on your body, your heart and lungs. You could just die, have a stroke. I was like, ‘Jesus, Lord, what’s going on?'”
The No Scrubs singer found a surgeon in Los Angeles who operated on the abnormal growth – but as a result of its location, Watkins had to decide which motor functions she was willing to sacrifice when she went under the knife.
She explains, “I had to give the order of what I wanted to be saved. So I said my face first, because you couldn’t look at me and tell I’m deaf or blind. My hearing second, because I still want to hear and sing and have my speech. And then my balance. So they took my balance completely from the right.”
The star spent three years in physical therapy, and now she has regained most of her vision, hearing, and speech.
The busy mom adds, “I had to take three years to heal and fight for everything that I wanted back… But, after losing my sight, hearing, balance and speech, yes, I’m returning. I still have a crooked smile and just certain things I deal with, but I’ll take all of that to be back here and be Chase’s mother.”