Selena Gomez’s mom Mandy Teefey opens up about near-fatal battle with COVID and double pneumonia

Selena Gomez’s mom, Mandy Teefey, has opened up about her near-fatal battle with COVID-19 and double pneumonia, and revealed she almost passed out during her recent Entrepreneur Magazine photoshoot.

Mandy, 45, appeared to be all smiles as she posed alongside her daughter for the December issue of Entrepreneur Magazine – but behind-the-scenes, it was a different story. 

The mom-of-two admitted that she actually almost lost consciousness during the shoot, due to the long-lasting damage her lungs have from her COVID-19 infection. 

She caught the virus while she was recovering from double pneumonia, and at one point, her oxygen dropped so low that she had to be rushed to the hospital.

She said she only had ‘half a lung’ left when she arrived, and that doctors told her she might have died within days.  

Selena Gomez’s mom, Mandy Teefey, opened up about her near-fatal battle with COVID-19 and double pneumonia, and revealed she almost passed out during her Entrepreneur photoshoot 

Mandy appeared to be all smiles as she posed alongside her daughter for the December issue of Entrepreneur Magazine - but behind-the-scenes, it was a different story

Mandy appeared to be all smiles as she posed alongside her daughter for the December issue of Entrepreneur Magazine – but behind-the-scenes, it was a different story

The mom-of-two admitted that she actually almost lost consciousness during the shoot, due to the long-lasting damage her lungs have from her COVID-19 infection

The mom-of-two admitted that she actually almost lost consciousness during the shoot, due to the long-lasting damage her lungs have from her COVID-19 infection

‘I almost passed out doing the shoot,’ she told People Magazine during a recent interview.

‘We had to break so many times, but all my friends and loved ones around me helped me get through it. 

‘I was smiling and laughing most of the time because I was going to faint. Don’t judge how someone looks because you don’t know what’s underneath that picture.’ 

Mandy explained that she first came down with the pneumonia in February. And right when it began to clear up, she caught COVID. 

She recalled: ‘A week before I was going to get my first COVID shot, I got COVID. I was at home the whole time.

‘But when my fever broke, my oxygen went to 69, and I was rushed to the hospital.’

According to Mandy, her doctors were ‘pretty badgering’ and began to question why she hadn’t gotten the vaccine yet. 

‘The first hospital was pretty badgering, like, “Why didn’t you get your shot?”‘ she continued.

‘I’m like, “I literally can’t breathe right now. Can we talk about this later? I will explain why.”‘

Mandy explained that she first came down with the pneumonia in February. And right when it cleared up, she caught COVID. Then, her oxygen dropped and she was rushed to the hospital

Mandy explained that she first came down with the pneumonia in February. And right when it cleared up, she caught COVID. Then, her oxygen dropped and she was rushed to the hospital

She said she only had 'half a lung' left when she arrived at the hospital, and that doctors told her she might have died within days. She is pictured with Selena in 2017

She said she only had ‘half a lung’ left when she arrived at the hospital, and that doctors told her she might have died within days. She is pictured with Selena in 2017

After arriving at the hospital, Mandy discovered that her condition was a lot worse than she thought. It turns out, had she not gone when she did, she might have died.

‘They said that had my body not responded as quickly as it did, I had two days [to live],’ she said. 

‘They said, “We don’t know how you’ve been breathing this whole time.” I had, like, half a lung.

‘I made it through COVID and didn’t lose my taste or smell or anything, but it beat up my lungs pretty hardcore.’

While in the hospital, Mandy received steroids and antibiotics, and was taught how to do various breathing exercises that really helped her. 

Eventually, she got better and headed home, but after she left the hospital – that’s when the fear really hit her.

‘It was definitely an experience, and it wasn’t scary until I got home. When I got home, I was like, “Wow, I may not have ever come back here.’ I was a lucky one,”‘ she explained.

While in the hospital, Mandy received steroids and antibiotics, and was taught how to do various breathing exercises that really helped her. Eventually, she got better and headed home

While in the hospital, Mandy received steroids and antibiotics, and was taught how to do various breathing exercises that really helped her. Eventually, she got better and headed home

Back in November, Mandy first opened up about her illness on Instagram in response to a nasty internet troll who had slammed her for the way she looked during the photoshoot

Back in November, Mandy first opened up about her illness on Instagram in response to a nasty internet troll who had slammed her for the way she looked during the photoshoot

Mandy and Selena posed for the magazine alongside Newsette founder Daniella Pierson, in support of their new mental health company, Wondermind

Mandy and Selena posed for the magazine alongside Newsette founder Daniella Pierson, in support of their new mental health company, Wondermind

Back in November, Mandy first opened up about her illness on Instagram in response to a nasty internet troll who had slammed her for the way she looked during the photoshoot. 

‘I wasn’t ever going to discuss this, but I knew when the Entrepreneur cover came out comments on my weight were going to be DM’d to me,’ she wrote at the time.

‘I was out of the hospital for maybe three and a half weeks from double pneumonia. I was told I had days to live.

‘I had miracle doctors and love from my family and friends to keep me going. I fought. The doctors fought and I was one of the few who made it out.

‘I gained 60 pounds plus inflammation from the infection. But I never gave up on myself.

‘I had zero business to be at a photoshoot. So, yesterday was a beautiful day for many reasons filled with personal attacks. I’m healthy and I will work on myself at my pace.

‘It’s a miracle I am here and could careless if that means I’m a [size] 16 instead of a [size] eight. Much love to everyone.’

While chatting with People Magazine about it recently, Mandy explained, ‘I posted because I wanted to be like, “Guys, this is why you don’t judge people.”‘

And although she was ’embarrassed’ by all the attention her post got, she said her daughter Selena was ‘proud of her’ for speaking out against her haters. 

‘I did not expect it to get picked up at all by anybody because I’m like, “Nobody cares about my Instagram,”‘ she added.

‘I was like, “Oh my gosh, I’m embarrassed. It’s scrolling on CNN.” It’s really hard for me to have that kind of attention. But Selena was like, “No mom, I’m proud of you.”‘

Mandy and Selena posed for the magazine alongside Newsette founder Daniella Pierson, in support of their new mental health company, Wondermind.

‘We’ve each had our own mental health struggles, and we realized there was no inclusive, fun, and easy place where people could come together to explore, discuss, and navigate their feelings. So we created it,’ a statement from the three women reads on the brand’s website. 

According to Mandy, her mental health issues began when she first became pregnant with Selena at 16. They are pictured together in 2009

According to Mandy, her mental health issues began when she first became pregnant with Selena at 16. They are pictured together in 2009

Mandy said she was misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder in her 20s. But in 2016, after taking too many sleeping pills one night, she decided to check herself into a rehab facility

Mandy said she was misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder in her 20s. But in 2016, after taking too many sleeping pills one night, she decided to check herself into a rehab facility

That's when she discovered she didn't actually suffer from bipolar disorder after all. She was then diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

That’s when she discovered she didn’t actually suffer from bipolar disorder after all. She was then diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

According to Mandy, her mental health issues began when she first became pregnant with the Disney actress at 16 years old.

She said: ‘I feel at that moment, something changed in me. I was too young to be giving birth or pregnant.

‘It changes women’s hormones, and I started having ups and downs. I didn’t understand it because I didn’t grow up in a neighborhood where you talk about feelings. It was just like, “You’re crazy.”‘

In her 20s, Mandy recalled feeling ‘always out of place,’ so she began to research therapists.

But things got worse for her when a doctor misdiagnosed her with bipolar disorder and put her on an anti-seizure medicine. 

For years she thought she had the mental condition, but in 2016, when she became an executive producer on the first season of the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why – everything changed. 

‘When 13 started, I started going through early menopause, and my hormones were changing,’ Mandy shared.

‘I started having grand mal seizures, and I was on anti-seizure medication. The doctors I found in L.A. had me on medications that countered each other, so I went, “My anti-seizure medication is causing seizures.”

‘And I’m talking about seizures where my husband thought I was dead after it was happening.

‘I couldn’t sleep, and one night I took more than I was supposed to take of my medication to go to sleep.

‘I was wide awake, and I woke up my husband, like, “Something’s wrong. I got to go somewhere.”‘

She decided to check herself into a treatment center for 30 days, and that’s when she discovered that she didn’t actually suffer from bipolar disorder after all.

‘I said, “I’m going to go practice what I preach.” So I went away for 30 days,’ she said. 

Selena (pictured with her mom in 2010) has faced health issues of her own. She was diagnosed with the auto-immune disease lupus in 2014, and in 2017, she had to get a kidney transplant

Selena (pictured with her mom in 2010) has faced health issues of her own. She was diagnosed with the auto-immune disease lupus in 2014, and in 2017, she had to get a kidney transplant

‘And they took the time to run all the proper tests. They detoxed me from all the medications, and I had a therapist and a psychologist in groups and all this art therapy.

‘It was something that was just really amazing for me to understand who I was.’

She was then diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and she now takes medicine whenever she feels she needs it.  

‘It took me until I was 40 to finally go and get the help that I really needed,’ she concluded. 

‘I don’t want people in their 20s to wait until they’re 40 and lose a couple of great years that they could have had.’ 

Selena has had some mental health issues of her own over the years. She was diagnosed with the auto-immune disease lupus in 2014, and in 2017, it got so bad that she had to get a kidney transplant.    

Besides her physical health, the singer has also been pretty open about her mental health battles. 

And in 2020, she revealed that she had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, which she said was a ‘huge weight lifted off’ of her.

‘I felt a huge weight lifted off me when I found out. I could take a deep breath and go, ‘OK, that explains so much,”‘ she told Elle earlier this year. 

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