‘Bachelor in Paradise’ Star Shares Update Ahead of Amputation Procedure

A 'Bachelor Nation' rose


A rose waits to be presented in “Bachelor Nation.”

A former contestant from “The Bachelorette” and “Bachelor in Paradise” is navigating a serious medical situation right now and fans are stepping up to lend their support. It has been a while since Cameron Ayala was involved in “Bachelor Nation,” but “ABC Cam” has never been forgotten. Now, a lifelong battle he has had with lymphedema has led to a decision to pursue a serious medical intervention.

Ayala first popped up on Hannah Brown’s season of “The Bachelorette.” The Austin, Texas native was one of a handful who met Brown the night she was announced as the next “Bachelorette,” and he surprised her with a rap in front of the live audience. As Marie Claire detailed, “ABC Cam” referred to “Always Be Cam,” which was essentially his life mantra. He was a quirky bachelor, and the sparks never really flew with Brown. He joined season 6 of “Bachelor in Paradise,” but did not find a love connection there either. Despite not finding love on reality television, his openness about his health struggles resonated with fans, and many still keep tabs on how he’s doing.

Here’s what you need to know:

Ayala Has Struggled With the Condition Since Childhood

In a post for the Lymphatic Network shared several weeks before he debuted on “The Bachelorette,” Ayala opened up about his medical condition. “I have been struggling with primary lymphedema and suffering in silence since the year 2000,” he wrote. At the time this was written, in May 2019, Ayala had endured 13 surgeries and seven infections. “Lymphedema has taken so much away from me, but now is the time for me to give back and to fight back.”

In December 2018, Ayala shared a lengthy post on Instagram where he opened up further about his condition. He explained he was diagnosed with lymphedema in 2002 when he was just 12. The condition is incurable, but he found ways to manage the condition to a degree. However, he experienced “countless nights of excruciating pain, swelling, and mental agony.” In 2014, his medical team recommended he amputate his leg due to the issues with the condition. “The thought of losing my leg gave me crippling fear and anxiety.” Luckily, a December 2016 procedure at Boston Children’s Hospital gave him a reprieve. That didn’t mean Ayala’s battle was over, though. An April 2021 surgery left him learning “how to walk again for the 14th time in my life” as he navigated intense pain, he noted on Instagram. A week later, he admitted on Instagram, “The past 2.5 weeks have by far been the most challenging in my 32 years of livin’ on this [Earth emoji].” Even after that recovery, Ayala wasn’t in the clear.

He Is Hopeful About the Future

An Instagram post on March 6 signaled what was on the horizon for Ayala. He noted he was “preparing for the biggest/toughest decision” of his life, and several weeks later, he revealed he would get an above-knee-amputation. Just before he went into the operating room, he shared a video showing some of his “LASTS” as he looked ahead to “a new era… a new life… a re-birth” and “a new FIRST jog, run, and spring.” A brief Instagram story on June 22 showed Ayala at Houston Methodist Hospital, prepping for his amputation. “See y’all on the other side!” he noted in text as he smiled and gave a thumb-up. The former “Bachelor in Paradise” contestant added “Game Time!” and “faith over fear” on the photo.

A Reddit thread noting the surgery garnered a number of well wishes for Ayala. “This is rough. I love ABC Cam, very harmless and a fun ‘villain’ (if you wanna call it that). Wish him well – he seems in good spirits and positive, too,” one person shared. “All the blessings to Cam!!! I hope he recovers quickly and smoothly, and gets to live in much less pain [than] what he was struggling with before,” someone else wrote. Many “The Bachelorette” fans will be eager to see updates from Ayala as he forges forward after this amputation.

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