Reality TV cast member recovering from brain flu, 2-month coma

ATLANTA — A reality TV personality who lives in Atlanta is talking about his recovery from brain flu, which put him in a coma for two months.

Alexx Blanks, who has appeared on OWN's "Ready to Love," had to be put on life support after contracting the disease.

Channel 2's Audrey Washington sat down with Blanks, who is now out of the hospital. He told her he is working to get his life back.

Before becoming sick, Blanks said he really had it all. He was on a hit reality show and the picture of good health.

But then one day in November, he felt a little sick.

“I remember saying, ‘Hey, I don’t feel right,’” Blanks said.

He didn’t know it then, but he was suffering from the brain flu.


Thursday, Washington did some research and found that the brain flu is an extremely rare condition.

It’s when a flu virus enters the brain tissue and causes inflammation of the brain.

Once at the hospital, Blanks said things got worse for him when he slipped into a coma.

“I died twice in the hospital. My lungs collapsed,” Blanks said.

He told Washington that he stayed in a coma for 2 1/2 months, with his mother and sister by his side.

“I couldn’t lose him, and I didn’t know what was going to happen to him,” sister Shaunteh Blanks said.

When Alexx finally came to, he couldn’t write, remember much or even walk.

“I had sensation but like I couldn’t move and that’s a scary feeling, you know?” Alexx Blanks said.

But now, Blanks said he’s working to learn more about the brain flu and to regain his strength.

“I want to be able to stand on top of Stone Mountain like, ‘Yeah, life is just that more important to me,’” Alexx Blanks said.

He told Washington that his he now in outpatient rehab therapy.