Beloved Better Homes and Gardens star Melissa King has recalled the moment she had to tell her bosses about her secret health battle after experiencing a “scary” incident on live TV.
The gardening guru aired a segment of the breakfast show live Sunrise at the Melbourne Flower Show earlier this year when her face convulsed beyond her control.
Unknown to her producers, back in 2017 a non-cancerous tumor known medically as a meningioma was found in the lining of her brain, near her ear – a condition she kept secret from all but a few close friends and family.
Although a meningioma is most often benign, as in Kinga’s case, it does not make her ordeal any less terrifying.
In a new interview published in Australian Women’s Weekly October issue released today, King opened up about the incident that happened in front of hundreds and thousands of people Sunrise viewers.
“I could feel the stretching and tightening as the right side of my face contorted, and I knew everyone watching at home could see it,” she told the magazine.
“That morning was awful. I could hear the producers saying, ‘Melissa, are you okay?'”
After her diagnosis in 2017, King underwent six-monthly MRIs to monitor her tumor. The TV host and horticulturist said that doctors managed to keep the tumor size down for four years.
However, in 2021 the tumor had grown slightly and doctors suggested King either undergo brain surgery to remove it or radiotherapy to shrink the growth.
With two sons to consider – Noah, 11, and Marlon, 9 – King opted for the latter, “less invasive” option. She completed 15 sessions of radiotherapy without saying anything Better Home and Gardens colleagues.
Everything went according to plan and she didn’t feel any side effects until February of this year when she said while taking a shower that the right side of her face was spasming, like she was having a stroke.
It was after this incident together with Sunrise a segment she knew she had to make clear to the cast and crew, who were “amazing.”
“Most of my segments are filmed so we can stop the camera if I need to wait for it to go by,” she said.
“People have been incredibly understanding and supportive, and I’m so grateful.”
King has since taken to Instagram to say thank you Aww for telling her story and reassuring fans that she is fine.
“So – I’ve been going through some health issues that I haven’t shared with others until now – the good news is that I’m fine, but it’s been an emotional roller coaster,” she wrote in the caption as she shared images from the photo shoot.
“When I wanted to publicly share what I was going through, I couldn’t think of a better way to do it than through a magazine that tells beautiful stories and has graced our stands for 90 years. Thank you so much @womensweeklymag for sharing my story so beautifully and so compassionately and for the wonderful photo shoot with my family.”
“A big thank you to all my friends and family who supported me along the way. There is a blue sky ahead of you!”