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Abby Lee Miller Still Recovering After Becoming 'Paralyzed From The Neck Down'

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Abby Lee Miller is not doing well.

After being suddenly hospitalized for a back injury and being sent back to her halfway house, the former Dance Moms star was hospitalized again this week after experiencing "excruciating neck pain" and weakness in her arm. has learned that the jailbird became completely paralyzed from the neck down, and doctors worried she may not survive.

Dr. Hooman M. Melamed, Miller's spine surgeon, told PEOPLE that as soon as the dance coach arrived at Cedar Sinai Marina Del Rey Hospital, "her condition started deteriorating. Not just her pain, but her weakness started getting worse."

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"In the span of 24 hours, which was something that I have not seen, her condition rapidly deteriorated. She was completely paralyzed from the neck down," added Melamed.

They attempted to transfer Miller, 51, after her blood pressure began to lower, but felt that if they "tried she may not make it by the time she gets to another hospital."

"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 added. "If we didn't do something, she was going to die. Her blood pressure was bottoming out. She was not doing well."

Miller underwent surgery around 1:00 am this Tuesday, April 17. According to PEOPLE, it lasted almost five hours and required an 18-inch incision. The surgeon had to remove the back part of several vertebrae to relieve pressure in her spinal cord.

Melamed later admitted that he had "no idea" why Miller's health failed so suddenly. He claimed such deteriorating infections are more likely seen in people who are smokers or have generally bad health.

Abby Lee Miller
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Abby Lee Miller is still in the hospital and doing well in her recovery. Melamed said she is "optimistic" because some feeling has returned to her arms and lower body since the surgery.

She may, however, still require a second surgery.

"She's made some recovery in 24 hours, which is better than no recovery," he told the publication. "Nobody wants to end up thinking they're going to be paralyzed for the rest of their life. That's a reality that's facing all of these patients going into it. All you can do is pray and, as a surgeon, you maximize everything you can for the spinal cord to recover itself."

It is unknown whether Abby Lee Miller will ever walk again, but Melamed said: "I am hopeful."

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