Toni Braxton dismissed signs of massive heart attack for symptoms of grief

Toni Braxton is lucky to be alive.

The 55-year-old singer recently revealed how systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), the most common form of lupus which she was diagnosed with in 2008, “attacked” her heart.

“It (was) put in at a really, really scary moment,” she told co-hosts Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager on Today With Hoda and Jenna.

Initially she thought the pain she felt in her chest was the result of grief, but a test revealed the pain was due to an 80% blockage of the main artery in her heart.

She underwent emergency surgery in order to prevent a heart attack that would have killed her.

Since her diagnosis, Braxton has needed to monitor her health more carefully than others. But following the death of her sister Traci Braxton in March 2022, she brushed aside some chest pain as “sadness,” and it almost cost her her life.

“I had some pain in my chest,” Braxton told Kotb and Bush Hager on Today With Hoda and Jenna. “But I was having this pain in my chest and I thought it was because I was so sad, we had just lost one of my sisters.”

“It turned out to be much more serious, and I just dismissed the signs … and a lot of people tend to do that.”

She believed she was “fine” and didn’t need to go to the doctor, but after much convincing she went and a test revealed the awful truth.

Braxton need a stent “immediately.”

“I would have had a massive heart attack and would not have survived.”

Jamie Lamor Thompson /

After the major health scare the Grammy-winning artist said she’s no longer putting off any tests or dismissing symptoms that could lead to life-altering results.

“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,” Braxton told People. “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?”

She hopes that others will take her advice and seek a doctor’s opinion when something feels off.

“It’s important to get those screenings — simple things. The goal here is long life and old age.”


Such an important lesson to us all to make sure we don’t ignore our bodies when we feel something is “off.”

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