Prayers for Abby Lee Miller! The Dance Moms matriarch almost died after suffering from an unusual spinal infection this week. Dr. Hooman M. Melamed — the orthopedic spine surgeon who treated Abby — told People that Abby felt “excruciating neck pain” and was rushed to the hospital where her condition started to rapidly decline.

“Not just her pain, but her weakness started getting worse. In the span of 24 hours, which was something that I have not seen, her condition rapidly deteriorated,” he said. “She was completely paralyzed from the neck down.”

abby lee miller

According to Dr. Melamed, when Abby’s blood pressure started to drop, they wanted to transfer her to another hospital, but ultimately decided against it because he thought she could die before getting there. “We did a CT and we saw what appeared to be an infection that had spread from the bottom of her neck all the way to the lower part of her back…which is extremely unusual,” he explained.

Abby had surgery in the early morning hours on Tuesday, April 17, to remove the back part of several vertebrae and relieve all of the pressure on her spinal cord. “If we didn’t do something, she was going to die,” he said. “Her blood pressure was bottoming out. She was not doing well.”

Thankfully, things are starting to look up for the reality star. She’s beginning to move her arms and get feeling back in certain parts of her body — but Dr. Melamed said how she recovers over the next several weeks will determine if she can walk again. “She’s made some recovery in 24 hours, which is better than no recovery,” he said. “Nobody wants to end up thinking they’re going to be paralyzed for the rest of their life…I am hopeful.”

Dr. Melamed said they hope to “start mobilizing her, start thinking about the rehab, start pushing the body, pushing the brain and spinal cord for making recovery.” It’s possible that Abby could enter rehab at the end of this week, if they don’t have to perform another surgery.

abby lee miller

This isn’t the first time Abby has dealt with medical issues since leaving jail, either. Last week, TMZ reported that Abby was hospitalized for a thyroid condition two weeks after entering a halfway house to finish her 366-day jail sentence on bankruptcy fraud charges. It’s unclear if and when she will return to the halfway house, as the main priority right now is getting her health back on the right track.