Rieger’s carefully planned retirement plans, however, were thwarted by health crises. She developed irregular heart rhythms in October 2020, necessitating surgery to correct a mitral valve problem. She was off the air for five weeks due to the open-heart surgery.
Then, in early May, she began to notice strange occurrences: a map materializing in her bedroom, starbursts emanating from friends’ heads, and a sentence floating across the side of a Blue Ridge mountain.
Wendy Rieger sunglasses: Why does Wendy Rieger wear glasses?
These hallucinations surprised and amazed Rieger, but an MRI revealed something far more serious: a golf-ball-sized mass on a lobe of her brain. Pascal Zinn, a renowned surgeon, operated five days later.
In comparison to brain surgery, she describes the operation to repair her heart as “a trip through a McDonald’s drive-through.”
Nonetheless, six weeks after the cancerous mass was removed, she was back in the air. Zinn assured her that he had obtained “99.9 per cent” of it.
Upon her return, Rieger wore special rose-coloured glasses to reduce the glare of the studio lights, which could cause a migraine. Some viewers thought an anchor wearing “sunglasses” was inappropriate. Others thought it was hilarious because it was just Rieger being Rieger.