When Debbie Reynolds was rushed to the hospital on Wednesday afternoon, just one day after daughter Carrie Fisher's death, no one was happy about it, to say the least. Hours later, in a heartbreaking report confirmed by Reynolds' son Todd, it was announced that Debbie Reynolds had died at 84 years old, according to TMZ. But Reynolds' death came as a surprise to everyone. This begs the question: Was Debbie Reynolds sick? And if so, for how long?
Reynolds reportedly died as a result of a stroke, according to TMZ — but it wasn't immediately clear whether she was sick before her death. It is true — Debbie Reynolds was an aging actress in Hollywood, whose career outlived many of her colleagues — yet her death definitely came as a surprise to many. But Reynolds, who died as a result of a stroke, had reportedly suffered from a stroke before.
According to ABC News, Reynolds had dealt with "health issues" in the past and even reportedly suffered from "a small stroke last year." "When she was in the hospital and barely recovering from an operation, she had a small stroke," son Todd Fisher told ABC News. This is incredibly shocking to hear for those who had no idea that Reynolds had suffered. But Todd was not Reynolds' only child to allude to the fact that his mother had been sick in the past.
This past May, Carrie told People that she was worried about her mother's health — although she remained quiet on what, exactly, her mother suffered from. Despite Reynolds' recovery from her "certain health issues" Carrie told People that her mother had "been a little more than frail." "She had an illness that she's recovered amazingly from," Carrie said — alluding her mother had a "spinal issue."
If what her children say is true, then it's likely Reynolds had been a little sick recently — however, Reynolds' exact ailments and health issues are not exactly clear (not that it's necessarily anyone's business but her family's, of course).
According to the American Stroke Association, 80 percent of all strokes are preventable by managing key risk factors that can be controlled — such as diet, high blood pressure, and lifestyle choices. In spite of this, strokes can — and often do — have lasting effects on the brain.
While Reynolds' death was definitely a surprise, it sounds like Reynolds had been receiving medical treatment prior to her death, at least sporadically. Despite reportedly having some health ailments, Reynolds' death was definitely unexpected to many and hurts even more so, given that she followed so closely on the heels of daughter Fisher.