Tina Turner’s stroke hit her like a “lightning bolt” and robbed her of her voice.
The late ‘What’s Love Go to Do With It’ singer’s death was announced on 24 May after she had spent years battling potentially fatal illnesses including kidney issues that ended with her husband Erwin Bach, 67, donating one of his kidneys in a transplant operation in 2017.
Tina said in her tell-all memoir ‘My Love Story’ about how her stroke hit in 2013, the same year she married music producer Erwin after spending years getting over her abusive marriage to Ike Turner: “You know that wonderful expression, ‘If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans'? On an ordinary October morning in 2013, just three months after our glorious wedding, I woke up and felt a lightning bolt strike my head and right leg.
“I tried to speak but I couldn't get any words out. I was having a stroke.
“The stroke had delivered a powerful blow to my body: my entire right side was numb.
“I’d have to work with a physiotherapist to learn how to walk again, the doctor told me, and using my right hand would be a problem.
“But the psychological effects were even more profound.
“I was miserable. The battle for recovery left me with no strength or vitality.”
Tina added about how she was then struck by more kidney problems and cancer: “I wasn't just dealing with the aftermath of the stroke – my doctor was concerned that my high blood pressure might be affecting my kidneys, so he referred me to a specialist.”
A doctor discovered her kidneys were performing at only 35 per cent of their normal function and Tina was prescribed medication she said left her convinced were “making me feel less clear-headed and energetic”.
She added: “Not long after this blow, my health began to fail again. I became so weak that I couldn't leave the house; it took all my strength to stagger between bedroom and bathroom.
“This time, I was diagnosed with early-stage intestinal cancer – a carcinoma and several malignant polyps.
“As I waited for surgery, I cried to Erwin, ‘Aren’t you sorry you married an old woman?’ Fortunately for me, he always radiated confidence, optimism and joie de vivre, and helped me to keep calm.
“A month after my diagnosis, I had part of my intestine removed. The doctors were optimistic and I felt a glimmer of hope again.”
After medics found her kidneys were “at a new low of 20 per cent”, Tina’s life was saved by Erwin donating one of his to keep her alive.