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'Blackish' star thanks Nairobi doctors for saving her life in 9-hour surgery

The Hollywood star was airlifted from Tanzania to Nairobi for emergency treatment after her vacation turned tragic. The surgery took 9 hours and was in ICU for 6 days.

Cast of Blackish

Renowned actress Jenifer Lewis has opened up about her harrowing brush with death while vacationing in Tanzania, recounting the terrifying ordeal for the first time during an interview with TMZ on March 14.

Lewis, known for her roles in the hit TV show "Blackish," shared the details of the incident that occurred during her visit to witness the renowned Wildebeest Migration in November 2022.

The frightening incident unfolded when she fell approximately 10 meters from a hotel balcony, sustaining severe injuries including a fractured femur socket, leaving her unable to move.

Recalling the moment of the fall, Lewis expressed her gratitude that her travel companion, Lori, was able to awaken and summon help after hearing her screams for assistance.


"I was unaware that there were wild animals down there. I was able to wake up my traveling partner Lori. I screamed and thank God she woke up," Lewis recounted.

As she lay injured, Lewis described hearing the roar of a lion, fearing she might become prey to a wild animal attack before help arrived.

Fortunately, Lori managed to call for assistance, leading to Lewis being rescued from the hotel and airlifted to Nairobi for urgent medical treatment.


In Nairobi, Lewis underwent a grueling nine-hour surgical procedure to save her life, followed by a six-day stay in the intensive care unit (ICU), spending a total of 10 days in the hospital.

Reflecting on her experience, Lewis praised the exceptional care provided by the medical staff in Nairobi, particularly at the Aga Khan University Hospital, where she was treated.

"Let me just talk about the people in Nairobi, guys. They took such good care of me. I was in Pampers. They picked me up like I was a baby. They had to wash me. I couldn’t move or walk for eight months. I want to thank the people in Nairobi at Aga Khan University Hospital," Lewis expressed her gratitude.

Despite the challenges she faced during her recovery, Lewis emphasized her determination to maintain a positive outlook and eventually return to the United States to continue her recuperation.


The award-winning actress revealed that she chose to keep the incident under wraps until she had fully recovered, opting not to be seen as a victim.

Now, after one year and four months, she feels ready to share her journey of resilience and overcoming adversity, announcing her upcoming book titled "Get Up."

Lewis's inspiring story serves as a testament to her strength and resilience in the face of adversity, inspiring others to persevere in the midst of life's challenges.


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