The entertainment world was saddened this week to learn that music legend Tina Turner had died at the age of 83, and details of what led to her passing – said to have been the result of natural causes – have begun to emerge, as the Daily Caller reports.
A truly iconic performer, Turner died at her home in Zurich, Switzerland following an extended period of illness that included battles with intestinal cancer and high blood pressure, which she previously stated led to serious problems with her kidneys.
In the last decade, Turner experienced a series of significant health challenges, as NBC's Today noted, including a stroke she suffered in 2013 and a bout with intestinal cancer back in 2016.
However, as CBS News explains, the star's battle with kidney disease was perhaps the one that took the greatest toll on her well-being and perhaps ultimately claimed her life.
It was just two months ago, for International World Kidney Day, that Turner offered words of advice to her fans about the necessity of maintaining they health of the vital organs.
“Show your kidneys love! They deserve it,” Turner began her Instagram post on the topic.
Turner went on to note that her kidney trouble was the result of her failure to properly address and treat her continued high blood pressure with “conventional medicine,” stating, “I have put myself in great danger by refusing to face the reality that I need daily, lifelong therapy with medication.”
“For far too long I believed that my body was an untouchable and indestructible bastion,” Turner admitted.
Imploring her friends and followers to pay closer attention to their own health, Turner said, “If I had known how high blood pressure and kidney disease are connected, I would have been spared a lot of suffering.”
Indeed, when the toll high blood pressure had taken on her kidneys reached a crisis point, Turner explored the option of assisted suicide, an option that is legal in her adopted country of Switzerland.
With her kidneys functioning at just 20% at one point in 2016, Turner said, “I faced two choices: either regular dialysis or a kidney transplant. It wasn't my idea of life. But the toxins in my body started taking over. I couldn't eat. I was surviving, but not living.”
“I began to think about death,” Turner went on. “If my kidneys were going, and it was time for me to die, I could accept that. It was OK. When it's time, it's really time. I didn't mind the thought of dying, but I was concerned about how I would go.”
Turner then acknowledged, “There are several organizations that facilitate the process, including Exit and Dignitas. I signed up to be a member of Exit, just in case,” though in the end, her husband, Erwin Bach, was able to donate one of his kidneys in 2017 and eliminate the need for such assistance.
In the end, however, Turner's health issues prevailed, and according to the Daily Mail, a intimate funeral involving only close friends and family is being planned. Hopefully, the millions of fans she garnered over the decades will continue to honor not just her talent and musical legacy, but also the highly personal cautionary tale she selflessly shared with the world.