"I am absolutely devastated at my journey on Dancing With the Stars has to end this way," she said from her hospital bed after her surgery on Sunday night. "I found out that I have a throat abscess where my tonsils and throat had gotten so infected, it started permeating to the rest of the areas behind my neck and ears. I had to get emergency surgery, which is why I'm here now."
Mai's surgery went well, but her doctor noted that if she waited another day, her throat would have closed up.
An emotional montage of Mai's time on the show played, before Mai gave a final sendoff from the hospital.
"I'm just so thankful I had this experience on Dancing With the Stars. It was hands down one of the best journeys of my life so thank you so much. I love you guys," she said.
Host Tyra Banks concluded the segment with a tearful address to Mai and the audience.
"Jeannie, we're glad that everything went well and you're on the way to a speedy recovery. I'm emotional, we're all emotional," she said. "I remember after the show, seeing you in the hallway, seeing your love and passion for this, and just know you're still a part of this family until this final episode of this season, OK? And Brandon, you're so beautiful. You're the babyfaced man that is the most mature, advocate, beautiful, humble, wonderful human being. You're going to hold the fort for her while she's getting better."
"I would never imagine ever having to write this, but I made it safely out of my emergency surgery," Mai wrote, alongside a photo of herself laying in a hospital bed with a colorful balloon bouquet by her side.
"I will be forever grateful to Dr. Nasseri who identified my potentially life-threatening condition," she continued. "What simply started as a sore throat had unbeknownst to me become a dangerous infection that already closed at least 60% of my airway and resulted in a throat abscess that spread in a matter of 3 days."
"Although I am grateful to be recovering safely, I can't lie... I am devastated by the fact that my journey with #DWTS will end this way 🥺😞," continued Mai, who also shared a photo of herself and her pro partner, Brandon Armstrong, sitting together in the dance rehearsal studio.
"Dancing on this show has been the most exhilarating adventure. I've gained both beautiful friendships and loving supporters," Mai shared. "To my partner, @Brandonarmstrong, I’m sorry you don't get to make fun of my moves anymore while I share my life gems on how to be a grown up🤭🤪 Love u so much lil bro, and will ALWAYS cherish the memories we made!!!"
Mai added that the good news is her "thumbs still work," which means she can "spread my 20 votes across these final 8 superstar teams!!!"
"Please everyone, TONIGHT watch for your fave #DWTS couple killen it in the ballroom cuz #TeamDreamofJeannie, we gotta share our love and VOTE!!!" Mai concluded.
"JEANNIE! I’m so sorry this happened to you! You don’t deserve it!" Armstrong, 26, captioned a photo of himself and Mai from a past episode. "Your journey on this show was so special so unique and so inspiring! I loved EVERY SINGLE WEEK that we got to go through this together!"
Mai announced she was exiting the ABC competition series early Monday in a statement to ET.
"My doctors discovered a health concern with my throat which requires immediate attention and surgery. I am heartbroken that my DWTS journey has to end here," read her statement. "The last several weeks have been an amazing learning experience. I have pushed myself to new limits physically and mentally, and I am so proud of how far we’ve come. I can't thank my partner Brandon enough for being so supportive and believing in me."
For more on Mai's Dancing With the Stars journey during this season, check out the video below.