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12 Celebrities Who Were Misdiagnosed, Changing Their Lives Forever

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Doctors misdiagnosing patients is nothing new.

After I heard about the woman who was misdiagnosed with menopause for years, until doctors later discovered she had a brain tumor all along, my trust in our health care system shattered.

It puzzles me that the signs of the woman's illness were all there, yet doctors were unable to put two and two together. Also, the fact that she had to "beg" doctors on her hands and knees to take her more seriously is disappointing.

Fortunately she was able to get the golf ball-sized tumor removed, but her recovery process would've been so much easier if she was diagnosed two years ago, when she first complained of her symptoms.

You could say that she visited an ignorant doctor, but even celebrities, who are able to get the best treatment and consult the most trusted doctors in the country, have been misdiagnosed.

Here are 12 celebrities whose lives have changed after their misdiagnosis.

1. Kelly Clarkson - Cancer

When the American Idol winner received a Grammy in 2006, we thought she was crying tears of joy during her acceptance speech.

“You know I’m terrible at speaking when I cry, so sorry!” she said. “You have no idea what this means to me.”

Nothing seemed amiss here, right?

Turns out that the morning before winning her first Grammy award, the singer was told she had cancer.

She spent the whole day crying, and so when she won the award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, she felt blessed.

"When I won, I thought, ‘Oh, my God. This is like God giving me one more thing before something horrible happens,'" she told Billboard's Pop Shop Podcast.

The next day, she learned that her results were mixed-up, and she didn't have cancer.

“As a kid watching the Grammys, that was a big dream! It was kind of the worst/greatest day. And the next day was also the worst/greatest day because I wanted to punch someone. I was like, ‘Who mixes up results? Why wouldn’t you test again?’" she said.

2. Celine Dion - Pregnancy

It's no secret that the powerhouse vocalist had undergone in vitro fertilization (IVF) to get pregnant.

After six years of trying, Celine and her late husband, Rene Angelil, decided that IVF was their only option to conceive a child.

They were successful in their first attempt, welcoming Rene-Charles Angelil in

The singer had her embryos frozen so that if she decided to have kids in the future, it would be a possibility.

During her second attempt at getting pregnant, Celine was misdiagnosed by doctors.

She was told that her pregnancy was a success, but then doctors told her that the embryos did not transfer.

This left the couple shocked and devastated, but Celine didn't give up.

She kept trying until she finally succeeded. Celine gave birth to two healthy twins in 2010.

3. Bob Parker - Exhaustion

The former The Price Is Right game show host was misdiagnosed with exhaustion, until doctors discovered that his condition was much more serious.

In the 80s, he suffered from a herniated disc and sciatica, but it was in the early 90s that Bob's health started declining.

After complaining of vision problems, he eventually went to see a neurologist, who told the television host that he suffered from a mild stroke.

A few years later, he experienced a strange sensation in his hands, and was diagnosed with a partially blocked carotid artery.

Doctors removed the blockage, but three years later, he had another stroke.

This time, doctors also discovered that Bob suffered from an enlarged prostate, and underwent surgery to correct the problem.

4. Lady Gaga - Broken Hip

Time / Splash News

The pop singer was on tour when she was misdiagnosed with a broken hip. She described the pain as agonizing, but tried to keep it together.

Her hip was broken, but her overall conditioned didn't necessarily improve all that much.

Behind that poker face lied something that would change the rest of her life: a chronic illness.

She continued to go on tour and perform but the pain was simply unbearable, despite having recovered from her initial injury.

She was forced to cancel the remainder of her Joanne World Tour in 2017.

A few years later, Lady Gaga was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, which is a syndrome that affects the muscles and soft tissue.

The illness triggers sleep problems, fatigue, and chronic muscle pain.

5. Julie Andrews - Vocal Chord Nodules

I don't think I'll ever hear anyone as graceful as Julie Andrews. Her voice was incredible! Not many people in the world can say they have a four octave vocal range, but she can.

Her iconic roles in The Sound of Music and Mary Poppins made her one of the most renowned celebrities in the world.

All her hopes and dreams of continuing to sing came crashing down when her doctor misdiagnosed the severity of the problems in her throat.

In 1997, Julie underwent surgery to remove non-cancerous nodules on her vocal chords.

Mistakenly, the doctor operated on both sides of her vocal chords, when only the nodules on the left side needed to be removed.

The award-winning actress was told that she would be able to sing a couple months after her surgery, but she couldn't.

She filed a lawsuit in 2001 and won her case.

6. Susan Boyle - Brain Damage

The Scottish singer stunned the world when she performed a beautiful rendition of "I Dreamed A Dream" at Britain's Got Talent.

If you only watched snippets of her performances online, you definitely missed the time the 57-year-old singer briefly opened up about her upbringing.

When Susan was a little girl, she was misdiagnosed with brain damage, believed to have been the result of oxygen deprivation at birth.

She was given the nickname "Susie Simple" in school and bullied because of her poor social skills and speech abnormalities.

It wasn't until 2013 that the singer was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, which is a form of autism.

"Asperger's doesn't define me. It's a condition that I have to live with and work through, but I feel more relaxed about myself. People will have a much greater understanding of who I am and why I do the things I do," she told The Observer.

7. Kylie Minogue - Breast Cancer

Before the singer went on her Showgirl concert tour in 2005, she had a mammogram to check for any abnormalities in her breasts.

Her doctor told her that the results came back normal, but Kylie wasn't convinced.

Weeks later, she felt a lump in her breast and decided to see a different doctor.

This second opinion probably saved the 49-year-old's life. The singer did in fact have breast cancer all along.

Kylie underwent a lumpectomy and later underwent surgery and chemotherapy.

“You must follow your intuition and if you have any doubt go back again," she said on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

“So my message to all of you and everyone at home is, because someone is in a white coat and using big medical instruments doesn’t necessarily mean they are right."

8. Estelle Getty - Parkinson's Disease

The Golden Girls actress was misdiagnosed twice before doctors actually figured out what she was truly suffering from.

In 2000, Estelle revealed that she had Parkinson's disease and osteoporosis. We barely heard from the actress until two years later, when media outlets claimed she had Alzheimer's disease.

Her Golden Girls castmates reported that they had a difficult time talking to her because she couldn't remember much about the show.

A few years later, the beloved comedian was diagnosed with Lewy body dementia, the same illness that afflicted Robin Williams.

By the time Estelle was diagnosed, her health was declining so much that it was too late to mitigate her symptoms.

She passed away in 2008, just a few days before her 85th birthday.

9. John Ritter - Heart Attack

John rose to fame after playing Jack Tripper on the ABC sitcom Three's Company, but perhaps the actor is most famously known for playing Paul Hennessy on 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter.

In 2003, while on the set of the show, John complained of chest pain, and suddenly began vomiting and dripping with sweat.

Doctors misdiagnosed him with a heart attack, but his condition was actually much worse than that.

The actor suffered from an aortic dissection, which is a heart condition that causes the tear in one's aorta to grow.

Doctors attempted to repair the rupture, but it was too late. John died during surgery, only a few days before his 55th birthday.

A few years later, his wife filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the doctors that misdiagnosed him. The family reportedly received approximately $14 million in settlements.

10. Halle Berry - Type 1 Diabetes

When the X-Men actress was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 1989 after lapsing into a diabetic coma, we were extremely worried about her health.

We knew that there was no way Halle would be cured, and she would have to spend her whole life relying on insulin.

Fifteen years later, the actress claimed she "cured" herself of Type 1 diabetes, leaving us all scratching our heads in confusion.

"I've managed to wean myself off insulin, so now I'd like to put myself in the Type 2 category," she revealed in 2005.

Since that's impossible, the only way Halle was able to stop taking insulin is if she didn't have Type 1 diabetes to begin with.

That means she was initially misdiagnosed by doctors, and has been suffering from Type 2 diabetes for more approximately three decades.

11. Eleanor Roosevelt - "Fever Of Unexplained Origin"

Not too long after the former First Lady was struck by a car in 1960, she was diagnosed with aplastic anemia.

Doctors said that her bone barrow, which is responsible for producing new red blood cells, was not making enough.

Her conditioned worsened and she required two blood transfusions. Unfortunately, by this time her white blood cell count was also low, making her unable to fight off infections.

In 1962, Eleanor was given steroids to help stimulate the bone marrow to produce more cells. The downside to this medication was that it lowered her ability to combat infections.

Not too long after, she complained of a nasty cough and a high fever, but doctors ruled out tuberculosis since her X-ray showed no signs of it.

Doctors couldn't diagnose her properly, claiming that she had a case of "fever of unexplained origin."

By the time doctors figured out she suffered from a rare form of tuberculosis, called military tuberculosis, it was too late.

The former first lady died on November 1962 at the age of 78.

12. Lena Dunham - Menstrual Pain

The Girls actress had horrible bouts of menstrual pain for years. She consulted multiple doctors to accurately diagnose her condition, but to no avail.  

“From the first time I got my period, it didn’t feel right," she wrote in an edition of Lenny Letter.

"The stomachaches began quickly and were more severe than the mild-irritant cramps seemed to be for the blonde women in pink-hued Midol commercials."

Years later a doctor diagnosed her with endometriosis, which is a condition that causes tissue, which normally lines the inside of the uterus, to grow outside of it.

This causes inflammation and blood getting trapped inside the body, which eventually leads to scarring.

It's estimated that 1 in 10 women suffer from endometriosis, and the most effective form of treatment is to undergo surgery.

In March 2018, the actress revealed she got a hysterectomy to end her painful struggle with the condition.

"What I want more than anything is for that time to be reduced for other women and to be able to talk about this in a way that can help other women to self-diagnose or ask questions to their doctors that they need to ask," Lena wrote in her essay titled The Painful Truth.

If this article piqued your interest, check out 10 celebrities that are battling chronic illnesses, and we had no idea.

[H/t: Illinois Attorney Blog]

Moojan has been a writer at Shared for almost a year. When she's not on the lookout for viral content, she's looking at cute animal photos. Reach her at moojan@shared.com.