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The Daily Dish The Real Housewives of Orange County

Braunwyn Windham-Burke Admits She Was "So Nervous" to Open up About Daughter's Health Issues

The Real Housewives of Orange County mom's "heart is full" after receiving lots of love from fans.

By Laura Rosenfeld
Braunwyn Windham-Burke with Daughter Rowan

We're just getting to know new OC Housewife Braunwyn Windham-Burke, and we can already tell that she lives an amazing life. But even women as fabulous as she is have their struggles, too.

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Braunwyn opened up to Shannon Storms Beador in the latest episode of The Real Housewives of Orange County about some of the health issues her eldest daughter, Rowan, who has been a competitive dancer her entire life, has faced. "She has OCD, and she has it pretty bad. And so last year, it got to the point where getting out of bed was hard for her. She was broken down, and she was acting out," Braunwyn shared. "So we went to an OCD specialist. And they were helping her. And then she went to New York for the summer, and they said it would be good for her. She came back, and she had lost about 25 pounds. And she wasn't talking to us. We couldn't help her. It's the first time I've ever felt helpless in my whole life."

She said in an interview during the episode that she felt partially responsible for her daughter's hardships. "As a mom, I felt like a failure because it had been going on longer than I knew, and I didn't know. And I felt like if I had less kids, would this have happened?" the mom of seven shared in an interview during the episode. "I just felt so guilty."

Braunwyn also told Shannon that she and her husband, Sean Burke, sent Rowan to get some help, which was "one of the hardest things we've ever done."

"She didn't have to go to school, she didn't have to get straight As. She got to take a break. As a mother, she was my shining star. She was like the perfect kid, and it really changed how we parented the rest of our children," Braunwyn recalled to Shannon. "I went from thinking, 'Oh, my kids will get straight As and go to Harvard' to 'I want my kids to be happy."

After sharing her family's story on RHOC, Braunwyn showed her gratitude for all of the kindness she has received from fans. "Thank you to everyone who has reached out to us tonight and shared their stories, it’s touched our hearts to hear how many people have dealt with the same issues, or are dealing with them and are willing to offer advice or ask for it," Braunwyn captioned a photo of herself and her 16-year-old daughter on Instagram. "I’m so proud of you Rowan for having the strength to be so open and honest, you inspire me everyday."

Braunwyn also thanked her fans in a video on her Instagram Story. "I was so nervous about last night how people were gonna be towards Rowan. I honestly couldn't sleep thinking if people were gonna say nice things or not," she said. "And having so many moms reach out to me with kids who are dealing with OCD or with eating issues really was just overwhelming. My heart is full." 

The RHOC mom also said that she is going to look into PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections) at the suggestion of some of her followers. Braunwyn's fellow Housewife Lisa Rinna has been open about her daughter Delilah Belle Hamlin's own struggles with that condition.

Braunwyn ended her video, "I just want to say thank you. It makes me feel not so alone. And to everyone who reached out saying that they dealt with this, and they're doing great now, that was amazing, too. So from our family to all of you, thank you, guys, so much."

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