Love had everything to do with it when pop icon Tina Turner was nearing death as her kidneys failed — with her second husband donating one of his organs.
The Private Dancer singer had just survived intestinal cancer and suffered a stroke in December 2016. She was forced to choose between dialysis and a transplant when her kidneys failed. Her second husband Erwin Bach, a German music executive, stepped in and sacrificed one of her kidneys.
Turner, now in her late 80s, spoke out to her fans about her recovery and health challenges in 2018’s autobiography My Love Story.
Turner, the 1984 album releasee of What’s love got to do with it, said: “Only the transplant would give me a good chance of a near-normal life. But the chances of getting a donor kidney were remote.”
But tests proved that a Bach transplant was possible, and the couple underwent surgery in April 2017. Turner stated: “He said he didn’t want another woman, or another life. Then he shocked me. He said he wanted to give me one of his kidneys.”
She also added: “The best moment was when Erwin came rolling into my room in his wheelchair. He somehow managed to look good, even handsome, as he greeted me with an energetic ‘Hi, darling!’ I was so emotional – happy, overwhelmed and relieved that we’d come through this alive.”
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Bach recovered fully, and Turner is still taking immunosuppressants to ensure her body doesn’t reject the transplant.
They met when Bach arrived in Cologne, Germany for the Private Dancer concert tour in 1985. Bach was an executive at EMI, her European record label. She arrived in Cologne, Germany with a gift from Roger Davies, her manager – a Mercedes Jeep that is notoriously difficult to find.
Turner wrote: “My heart suddenly started to beat boom, boom, boom, drowning out all other sounds. My hands were ice-cold. So this is what they call love at first sight, I thought. Oh my God, I am not ready for this.”