The 49-year-old reality star found herself in a rare vulnerable moment when her husband, Gregg Leakes, landed in the hospital for a “dangerously low” heart rate, his doctors taking him for a minor surgery test to see if he had a blockage.
“I heard his voice on the phone and I knew that he was afraid,” NeNe said as she raced to be by Gregg’s side. “Like, ‘If this is the last time that I’m going to see anybody, I need to see my wife.’ … Everything was just kind of going really left.”
“Oh my God, what if Gregg doesn’t come home?” she wondered, tearing up. “What will they find? Is this something that Gregg’s not telling me? I can’t even imaging Gregg not walking on this earth. I can’t do this. Gregg has to get better.”
Earlier in the episode, Gregg had complained about his health, saying he was experiencing chest pains, numbness and felt like he was “going to pass out.”
The feeling didn’t go away, and eventually, Gregg asked to be admitted to the hospital for monitoring. “For the last couple days he’s been like, ‘I just don’t feel good. I just don’t feel good.’ But this time he was crying in tears,” NeNe told fellow Housewife Cynthia Bailey. “I was like, ‘Okay, you want to go to the doctor or do you want to go to the hospital?’ And he was like, ‘I want to go to the hospital.’ ”
“His dad had heart issues, and Gregg’s always had it in his head that he’s going to have heart issues,” she added.
Though NeNe told Bailey, “I think he’ll be fine,” the former supermodel was convinced NeNe was failing to see the problem in front of her.
“I’ve known NeNe for like eight years now. I know she is very concerned, but I also can see that she’s in denial,” Bailey confessed. “I don’t think she’s fully grasped how serious any type of heart situation could potentially be. I think NeNe is dealing with the situation with Gregg the best way she knows how to. She’s not the girl that handles any kind of sickness situation well.”
NeNe did let her guard down when the two talked again later, a day after Gregg had entered the hospital.
“[He’s] elevating his feet and all this stuff, trying to keep his heart rate where it needs to be,” she said, explaining that Gregg was still suffering from dizziness from time to time. “Last night I didn’t sleep good because normally it’s me who’s gone. Normally Greg is here, so I didn’t sleep good knowing he is gone.”
It’s no wonder she feels that way. NeNe and Gregg have been married for 18 years and together even longer — though, as RHOA fans remember, they briefly divorced in 2011 and remarried 2 years later (as seen on NeNe’s spin-off series, I Dream of NeNe: The Wedding). The couple have one son together, Brentt, 18.
“I’ve been with Gregg since I was in my 20s,” NeNe said on the episode. “The only secret I can tell you a relationship is finding a way to still love each other and be attracted to one another. Without Gregg, what would I do. Who is going to cut the grass? Who is the poll person? Who do we pay our lights and gas to?”
While the episode ended in a cliffhanger, all appears to be well with Gregg now. He recently stood by his wife’s side on Halloween, dressing up as a cockroach to her pest control operator.
The Real Housewives of Atlanta airs Sundays (8 p.m. ET) on Bravo.