Tina Turner, who died at 83 after a long illnesssuffered from hypertension or high blood pressure, which affected his kidneys and demanded a life-saving kidney donation from her husband, Erwin Bach, in 2017.
Turner once wrote an essay for the Show Your Kidneys Love campaign, which raises awareness for kidney disease. In the essay, Turner said for a long time she had failed to realize the importance of treating her hypertension and acknowledged that she had put herself “in great danger by refusing to accept the reality that I had. need daily medication for the rest of my life.”
She was first diagnosed with hypertension in 1978, “but she didn’t care much about it,” she said. Years later, in 2009, she had a stroke because she couldn’t control her high blood pressure. She learned that her kidneys had lost 35% of their function.
Chronic kidney disease is known as a “silent killer” because “symptoms only become noticeable when 80% of kidney tissue is lost,” Turner continued. “As happened to me, hypertension is one of the most common causes of kidney failure.”
She eventually started dialysis. “It was my only option, but it was depressing to be hooked up to a machine for hours,” she wrote. “For the next nine months, my whole life was devoted to dialysis. I realized that the fight for a cure is always also a fight for accurate information.”
For people with kidney failure, a transplant “is often the treatment of choice…compared to a lifetime on dialysis,” says the Mayo Clinic. In about a third of cases, it is a transplant from a living donor. This is the route Turner took, with the help of her husband.
“I was lucky that Erwin offered to donate one of his kidneys to me. It was the first step towards a kidney transplant, a very complex procedure,” she wrote. .
Turner and Bach, a German music director, were together for 27 years before getting married in 2013. They lived in Europe for decades, most recently in a house near Zurich, Switzerland.
In her 2018 autobiography, “Tina Turner: My Love Story,” she wrote that Bach “shocked me by saying he wanted to give me one of his kidneys,” the Associated Press reported. Turner added that she was “overwhelmed by the enormity of his offer.”
Afterwards, she described feeling “overwhelmed and relieved that we made it through this alive.”
But in the months following the transplant, she said she experienced an “endless” series of ups and downs as her body tried to reject the new organ, which can happen after such procedures.
“Once in a while it required more hospital admissions,” she said. “I kept feeling nauseous and dizzy, forgot things and was very scared. These issues are still not quite resolved. I am on multiple prescriptions and take great care to follow orders meticulously from my doctors because I know I can trust them and their therapies.”
The survival rate for kidney recipients has improved over the years, from 66% in 1996-1999 to 78% in 2012-2015, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Patients who receive living kidney donations, like Turner’s, also saw an increased success rate, according to the study.
Managing conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes can help improve the success rate of kidney donation, according to the Mayo Clinic.
According to Donate Life, which raises awareness about organ donation, more than 90,000 people in the United States are waiting for kidney donation. It can take an average of three to five years to receive a kidney from a deceased donor, but with a living donor – someone who is willing to donate a kidney during their lifetime – the wait could be reduced.
One of Turner’s recent Instagram posts, just months before his death, was a partnership with Show Your Kidneys Love for World Kidney Day on March 9 to raise awareness for kidney health.
In another Instagram post from 2021, Turner gave some insight into how her relationship with Bach began. “When I first asked Erwin out it was an impulsive decision. Sometimes seconds change your life. Because you feel a spark, an instant connection,” she wrote, sharing a black and white photo of them. kissing.