'The Bachelor' Alum Daisy Kent Shares Near-Death Experience Due To Life-Threatening Illness

'The Bachelor' Alum Daisy Kent Shares Near-Death Experience Due To Life-Threatening Illness

"The Bachelor" runner-up Daisy Kent tugged on heartstrings after she told her story of dealing with hearing loss for most of her life.

On night one, she opened up to the lead, Joey Graziadei, about her Lyme disease and Ménière’s disease, and has focused on her advocacy efforts ever since.

But hearing loss and Lyme disease are not the only battles she has faced, as Daisy Kent recently revealed she nearly died from meningitis when she was 19.

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Daisy Kent Suffered From Meningitis

Daisy Kent smilingInstagram | Daisy Kent

Daisy Kent experienced viral meningitis at age 19 while studying at San Diego State University. At that time, neither Kent nor her parents were familiar with meningitis or the available vaccine.

“I had this shocking pain going down my spine, I felt like knives were cutting into my back and down my neck,” "The Bachelor" alum told Us Weekly. “There was a point where they didn’t think I was gonna make it.”

“I kept thinking, ‘My siblings are never gonna know how much I love them. I’m never gonna get to do everything I wanted to do in my future,’ she recalled.

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Unrelated Health Complications Led To A Weakened Immune System

Daisy Kent wearing a bathing suitInstagram | Daisy Kent

Having previously experienced unrelated health complications, her weakened immune system made her case of meningitis even more serious, needing nearly a year to fully recover.

Due to the severe meningitis, she lost 17 pounds, which left her sister extremely concerned. “When I got home my little sister hugged me and she was like, ‘I thought you were gonna snap in half,’” she told the outlet. “I just lost so much weight so quickly and I could barely walk.”

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Promoting Awareness And Advocating For Meningitis

Daisy Kent in a dress at the beachInstagram | Daisy Kent

She has teamed up with GSK's Ask2BSure campaign to promote awareness of accessing the meningitis B vaccine.

“Being on 'The Bachelor' and seeing how so many people related to my story and some of the health things I’ve gone through has really made me want to talk more about it and do things like [the Ask2BSure campaign],” she told Us Weekly. “If I can help even just one person by talking about it then it makes all the difference to me.”

“I have an opportunity to share my personal life but I also have an opportunity to share my personal life in a way that can really benefit and help people,” she added.

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Daisy Kent Opens Up About Ménière’s Disease

Daisy Kent wearing a black dressInstagram | Daisy Kent

When on the ABC reality show, Kent showed the show's lead, Joey Graziadei, her cochlear implant, which she wears due to hearing loss that's worsened since her teenage years. “Communicating was really hard for me and it was super isolating,” she told Graziadei over dinner. "I pictured myself in a glass box since I was 15 and I’m pounding on the walls screaming and terrified. People are looking in at me and they can’t hear me. I can’t hear them. I am alone with one of the most dangerous things—my thoughts. I can still go back to the feeling of confusion. I was quite frankly pissed off."

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According to the Cleveland Clinic, Ménière’s disease is caused by the accumulation of endolymph, a fluid in the inner ear, which affects balance and hearing. However, researchers have not yet determined why endolymph builds up. When too much fluid accumulates, it disrupts communication between the brain and the inner ear, leading to balance and hearing issues.

"Losing my hearing helped me see my ability to connect with people," Kent said. "It unlocked the ability to feel more, love more. I thought I was this little girl who grew up and on the way lost herself and who she so badly wanted to be. I realize now I didn’t lose her, I was just a girl who was kind to everyone but herself. Losing my hearing taught me how to fall back in love with myself."

Advocating For Ménière’s Disease

Daisy Kent smilingInstagram | Daisy Kent

She has since used her platform to advocate for Ménière’s disease to raise awareness and start more conversations surrounding the disorder.

“For me, mainly, (Ménière’s has) decreased my hearing. It causes a lot of pressure feeling in my head, vertigo, and a ton of tinnitus,” Kent said on TikTok. “But my left ear, since I got my implant, I don’t have as much ringing in my ear. But my right ear, I have a ton of ringing.”

She later shared a post on National Cochlear Implant Day, where she let down her walls and opened up about how Ménière’s has affected her. “Losing my hearing has been the loneliest pain I have experienced,” she wrote. “I pictured myself in a glass box since I was 15 and I’m pounding on the walls screaming and terrified.”