Paul Archuleta/Getty 'Selling Sunset' star Amanza Smith
Selling Sunset star Amanza Smith has a new lease on life after surviving a life-threatening spine infection.
The 46-year-old Netflix personality and interior designer revealed to PEOPLE that a recent bout with vertebral osteomyelitis — a potentially deadly bone infection — almost killed her after she collapsed from back pain at her Los Angeles home in May.
Smith said an MRI at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center discovered that she had an advanced case of the condition and that her doctors told her, "One or two more days at home and you could have been dead."
"I thought I had a backache, and I almost died," Smith recalled. "The doctors and my friend saved my life."
Smith underwent antibiotic treatments and surgery in June, though doctors learned that the osteomyelitis had progressed from the back of her spine to the front of it, getting dangerously close to her aorta and kidneys.
"The risk was the antibiotics wouldn't penetrate the bone and my entire back could collapse," Smith said, adding that before she returned home in July, a second six-hour surgery left her with a titanium mesh cage in her back. "I am an iron woman, with rods and screws," she joked.
The reality TV star documented her time in the hospital over the summer, sharing several videos of her undergoing treatment and tests amid her struggles with the disease.
Smith joined Selling Sunset, which follows a real estate company hawking high-end homes throughout California, in season 2 and has since become a supporting player through to its most recent sixth season, which debuted in May.
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