“When it was happening, I knew it would be bad,” Allen said in an exclusive interview with the AJC nearly a month after it happened. “I remember saying to myself, ‘Fall to your knees!’ But it happened so fast, I couldn’t do it. I face planted on my face! It was like solid ice, Minnesota ice.”
Though she was out of the hospital the next day, her family had to feed her and take her to the bathroom because she couldn’t use her hands the first week. She couldn’t use her phone or drink without a straw. Someone had to brush her teeth.
“It shut me down,” she said. “You really have to relay on others and your inner strength.”
She said she still went to a salon every other day to get her hair washed and primped. “I needed something to make me feel better,” she said. “I don’t care if people call me vain!”
Allen, who battled breast cancer a few years ago and is now in full remission, said doctors have informed her she will recover from the fall without long-term damage. Even her nose won’t look like she’d been in the ring with Rocky Balboa.
“It could have been so much worse,” Allen said. “I could have broken my neck or back. Everything is fixable. It’s just going to take time. I have to be patient and dig deep.”
She recently got her nose cast off. She is now doing regular physical therapy for her right wrist. Her left wrist is healing naturally, she said. She hopes to be able to drive in a couple of weeks.
Her family, she said, has been amazing. Her daughter Mollie Surratt stayed with her for 10 days. Her son Cory came over with his wife Rebecca, a nurse. "And I can't give my husband Eddie enough props," she said.
Allen said “Say Yes to the Dress Atlanta” she will be able to resume production of the show in a couple of weeks. “The fall will be addressed on the show,” she said, in part because she was in the middle of a couple of bride consults when the injury happened and her sudden disappearance will have to be acknowledged.
She said spent the past month hardly doing any work at all, just focusing on her recovery. Fortunately, she has family members and managers holding fort. “It was only the second time in decades that I missed New York Bridal Market,” she said. “The other time was because of breast cancer.”
Allen said TLC did not capture her fall on camera: “I’m glad because I don’t want to see that!”