Toni Braxton has revealed that she underwent emergency heart surgery following "life-threatening" complications with her lupus.
Braxton told People Magazine that she had fallen behind on her regimented, precautionary care amid her battle with the autoimmune disease and began experiencing chest pain.
The singer ignored the pain until her doctor pushed her to get tested.
"I kept putting it off thinking, 'Oh, I'm fine. I'll be okay.' But my doctor was persistent, and I went to get tested in the last week of September. I did a specialized test, and they looked at my heart and saw some abnormalities," Braxton told People. "I found out that I needed a coronary stent. My left main coronary artery was 80% blocked. The doctors told me I could've had a massive heart attack, I would not have survived."
Braxton recalled the "traumatic moment" when she learned of her dire condition.
"I remember that day because my chest was aching often, just hurting," she said. "And I thought I was just sad because unfortunately my sister [Traci Braxton] had just passed and I thought, 'Wow, I'm really aching in my heart for my sister.' And come to find out, of course I was sad about my sister, but I also had underlying health issues. It was my body talking to me, telling me something's not quite right."
"It was really a scary moment," she added. "Had I not gotten that test, my life would've been different."
During an appearance on the Today Show, Braxton highlighted the importance of getting tested regularly.
"I look at it like it was a blessing in disguise for me because now, putting off tests? Oh no, I will not put off tests," the singer said. "If all I have to do for my lupus and my kidney health is pee in a cup, I can pee in a cup. How many times do you need me to pee? If all I gotta do is get my arm pricked for some blood? Oh yes, I can do that. How many vials do you need?"
"I know we're all scared sometimes to go to the doctor. Especially for me having lupus, I was scared, I didn't want to know," Braxton continued. "But I find that knowing is empowering and it gets my doctors on top of my lupus and my kidney health. And that's the most important thing."