In a candid and poignant social media post, Kyle Viljoen, known for his appearances on Below Deck and Below Deck Mediterranean, has revealed a harrowing health experience.
Viljoen shared that he had been diagnosed with Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS), a rare and severe skin and mucous membrane disorder.
The reality TV star described this health ordeal as “the most painful and traumatic bodily experience” he has ever encountered. His journey began with an initial misdiagnosis of hand-foot-mouth disease at a walk-in clinic.
However, as his symptoms worsened, including blisters, difficulty swallowing, tongue swelling, and changes in vision, Viljoen decided to seek further medical attention.
At the emergency room, he underwent examinations by over 20 doctors, a testament to the complexity of his condition. Stevens-Johnson syndrome is recognised as a “medical emergency,” necessitating hospitalisation.
“Wednesday-Thursday I suffered from worsening blisters, inability to tolerate swallowing, tongue swelling, and change in vision,” he wrote on Instagram.
Viljoen’s experience underscores the critical importance of advocating for one’s health and seeking prompt treatment when something doesn’t feel right.
Throughout this challenging time, Kyle Viljoen leaned on his support network, emphasising the value of family and friends.
He expressed deep gratitude for the unwavering support of his fiance and the love and care from those close to him.
Viljoen credits his recovery progress to the dedicated and “impeccable” medical staff who have been by his side.
The outpouring of love and well wishes from his fellow Bravo celebrities serves as a touching reminder of the strength that can be found in a supportive community.
He urged his nearly 100,000 Instagram followers to prioritise their health and offered this advice: “If something doesn’t feel right, seek treatment. Two, family and a support system is EVERYTHING. Without them, I’m not sure where I’d be. And three, try to always get through rough times with lots of love and even more laughs (even when they hurt).”
Natasha Webb, Heather Kapiolani, Dave White, and Jackie Mark Goldschneider, among others, sent their prayers and support, highlighting the solidarity within the entertainment industry during challenging times.
Kyle Viljoen’s disclosure of his battle with Stevens-Johnson syndrome not only sheds light on a rare medical condition but also serves as a powerful message about the importance of health advocacy, timely treatment, and the strength of one’s support system during times of adversity.