Jenny Mollen‘s brother has been hospitalized, the actress revealed in a lengthy personal essay published by Marie Claire on Monday.
“This was a very hard piece to write but a story I wanted to share,” she prefaced on Instagram. “A little over a month ago, my family suffered a devastating blow when my older brother landed in the hospital. It’s my hope that this piece serve not just as an account of what transpired but also an explanation to all our friends who have questions and concerns. If you know any of the people involved, please respect the fragile state we are all in and resist asking how things are going. When there is a major change, trust that my father will be shouting it off his roof top.”
In the essay, Jenny, 38, traces through the backstory of her relationship with her half-brother Brad Mollen, 45, before taking readers through his ongoing health crisis in detail: Brad, whom she described as her “health nut of a Spartan-racing, selfie-taking sibling,” was first driven to the emergency room after complaining of dizziness.
“After several minutes, he went unconscious,” she recalled. “A team of doctors descended, but nobody could figure out what was happening. It was clear he had an infection, but what, how, and why was uncertain. The ER was flummoxed.”
An echocardiogram was ordered and doctors discovered a tumor “the size of a racquetball” in Brad’s left atrial valve.
“An atrial myxoma is a rare non-cancerous tumor that grows on the heart and, if caught, can be easily removed. In my brother’s case, however, the tumor was infected with a secondary staph infection, causing it to become friable and throw off little blood clots to his extremities,” Jenny explained, noting that Brad suffered between 11 and 15 mini strokes.