The Little Couple stars Dr. Jen Arnold and Bill Klein were overjoyed to travel to India in order to complete the adoption process and bring their daughter Zoey home. But in the midst of their exciting Middle East adventure, the reality TV mom, 41, was caught up in a health crisis that threatened her life.
In the pair’s upcoming memoir, Life Is Short (No Pun Intended), Arnold recalls the weeks she spent panicked by extremely heavy vaginal bleeding during their 2013 trip overseas.
After undergoing a surgical procedure to treat a nonviable pregnancy, Arnold was told by doctors that she was healthy and safe. However, during the family’s flight to New Delhi, "I really started to feel as if I was hemorrhaging," she writes in the tell-all, in bookstores May 26. "It seemed unreal that I might have a real health crisis on top of everything else that was going on. And yet the bleeding persisted and then started to get more serious."
Upon their arrival, Arnold called her gynecologist at home in Houston, Texas, who told her to rush home for an emergency appointment.
"We estimated that my blood loss was already significant," she says, adding that the Indian doctors were likely unequipped to handle her unique medical needs due to skeletal dysplasia and dwarfism. "I became worried that if for some reason I became unconscious due to more blood loss and shock, the people treating me would not know how to care for me…This couldn’t be happening, and yet it was."
The pediatrician was forced to leave her husband, 40, their 5-year-old son, Will, and new toddler daughter in India to finalize the adoption.
During the 14-hour trip to the U.S., Arnold carried a note in her pocket for the flight crew explaining how to secure her airway.
Klein, of course, was terrified.
"Bill told me months later that he had tracked my entire journey on his phone, never sleeping the entire night and making sure any plane I was on was not diverted, which could mean a medical emergency for me," Arnold gushes. "It still brings tears to my eyes when I think of him in India with our children, staying up all night to track my flights to be sure I wasn’t in danger."
Arnold arrived home safely, but was soon diagnosed with stage 3 cancer.
After a brave battle, she announced she was cancer-free in early 2014.