Kelle Bryan held back tears on Loose Women as she recalled her “really difficult journey” with lupus.
The singer and actress, 46, was diagnosed with the autoimmune condition, which causes the body to attack its own healthy cells, in 1998.
Bryan recalled how she was admitted to intensive care after catching a cold from her daughter Kayori.
Speaking on World Lupus Day, she said she wanted to raise awareness of the condition, which is often difficult to diagnose due to its wide range of symptoms.
Bryan said: “It has been a really difficult journey. It’s not just me going through it. There are so many people out there struggling with lupus.
“For me it’s about raising awareness of the disease and helping others to understand it more. There’s not very much tolerance or understanding for the disease.”
Bryan said following her diagnosis she had to learn to speak and walk again.
She added: “I had cerebral lupus which meant a swelling of my brain. I had a seizure, I lost about three days of my life that I don’t remember at all.
“My family say I was awake and I was very much functioning, but I don’t remember it at all.
“Going through that rehabilitation stage of my life, learning to speak and the struggle of trying to communicate something and not being able to, wanting to have normal conversations with somebody and not being able to get the words from your head to your mouth.
“The frustrations of not being able to be around my children, because they were a risk to me.
“I’m hypersensitive to infection and Kayori came home one day with a cold and gave it to me, and 48 hours later I was in intensive care and I had pneumonia.
“It’s those sides of the disease that people don’t know about and there’s no awareness about it.”
Bryan rose to fame in R&B girl group Eternal in the early 1990s along with Louise Redknapp and sisters Easther and Vernie Bennett.
They had a number of hits, including Stay, Someday, I Am Blessed and I Wanna Be The Only One, in total achieving 15 UK top 20 singles between 1993 and 1999.