Tina Turner, of He passed away at the age of 83 after a long illnesshigh blood pressure, or high blood pressure It affected her kidneys She required a life-saving donation from her husband, Erwin Bach, in 2017.
Turner once wrote an article for the Show Your Kidneys Love campaign, which raises awareness about kidney disease. In the article, Turner said that for a long time she did not realize the importance of treating her high blood pressure, and admitted that she had put herself “in great danger by refusing to accept the fact that I needed daily medication for the rest of my life.”
She was first diagnosed with high blood pressure in 1978, “but didn’t care much about it,” she says. Years later, in 2009, she had a stroke because she wasn’t controlling her high blood pressure. I learned that her kidneys had lost 35% of their function.
Turner continued: Chronic kidney failure is known as a “silent killer,” because “symptoms do not become noticeable until 80 percent of the kidney tissue has been lost.” “As it happened to me, high blood pressure is one of the most common causes of kidney failure.”
I eventually started dialysis. “It was my only option, but it was frustrating to be connected to a machine for hours,” she wrote. “For the next nine months, my whole life was about dialysis. I realized that the struggle to heal is always also a struggle to get accurate information.”
The Mayo Clinic explains that for people with kidney failure, a transplant “is often the treatment of choice… compared to a lifetime of dialysis.” In about a third of cases, this involves a living-donor transplant. This was the path Turner took, with the help of her husband.
“I was lucky because Irwin offered to donate one of his kidneys. This was the first step to a kidney transplant, which is a very complicated procedure,” she wrote.
Turner and Bach, the German music director, were together for 27 years before their marriage in 2013. They had lived in Europe for decades, most recently in 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 reports. Turner added that she was “overwhelmed by the enormity of his show”.
Afterwards, she described feeling “confused and relieved that we got through this alive”.
But in the months after the transplant, she said she experienced a “never-ending” series of ups and downs as her body tried to reject the new organ, which can happen after such procedures.
“Often, this required more hospital admissions,” she said. “I kept getting nauseous and dizzy, forgetting things, and was freaking out a lot. These issues haven’t been completely resolved. I follow multiple prescriptions and take great care to strictly follow my doctors’ orders. Because I know I can trust them and their treatments.”
The survival rate for kidney donation 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. According to the study, patients receiving live kidney donations, such as Turner, also experienced an increased success rate.
Managing diseases such as 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 to donate a kidney. 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 wants to donate a kidney while they are still alive — the wait can be reduced.
One of Turner’s final Instagram posts, just two months before her death, was a partnership with Show Your Kidneys Love on World Kidney Day March 9 to raise awareness of kidney health.
In another Instagram post from 2021, Turner gives insight into how her relationship with Bach began. “When I first asked Erwin out, it was such a surprising decision. Sometimes seconds change your life. Because you feel a spark, an instant connection,” she wrote, sharing a black and white photo of them embracing.