NeNe Leakes released a video statement on Monday confirming her son Brentt Leakes, 23, is recovering after suffering life-threatening health problems.
“Two weeks ago today, Brentt had congestive heart failure and a stroke. He’s only 23, so he’s really young for something like that to happen to him,” NeNe said in an Instagram Story reposted by The Neighborhood Talk.
“He’s struggling with speaking,” she added. “Just keep us in your prayers.”
Related Story: Pastor John Gray Addresses Hospitalization: ‘There Is Nothing God Can’t Do’
The Real Housewives of Atlanta alum said doctors initially suspected Brentt’s illness was caused by drugs or a serious infection such as HIV. But she said Brentt doesn’t drink or do drugs, and doctors are running a series of tests to find answers.
“They were thinking that maybe he had caught COVID and maybe he didn’t know that he had COVID,” Leakes said.
She admitted the family had not planned to go public about Brentt’s health struggles, but she decided to issue a statement after news of his illness was leaked.
“This is not the way I wanted it to come out. We wanted to be able to talk about it ourselves when Brentt was in a better place. So, here I am, because I would rather the correct thing be out there than something that’s not correct,” she said.
TMZ posted a story earlier in the day about Brentt’s illness. Since then, NeNe said she’s “gotten tons of text messages, tons of emails” and thanked everyone for their concern.
The actress and reality star’s husband, Gregg Leakes, died at age 66 in 2021, after battling colon cancer. Gregg was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer in 2018. He went into remission, before the cancer returned two years later.
The couple first married in 1997. They divorced in 2011 and remarried again in 2013.