Tina Turner was considering assisted suicide seven years before she died.
The ‘Simply the Best’ icon, who passed away aged 83 on Wednesday (24.05.23) from natural causes at her home in Küsnach near Zurich, Switzerland, after years of health woes, thought about euthanasia before her music producer husband Erwin Bach, 67, donated his kidney to her.
She said in her memoir ‘Tina Turner: My Love Story’: “By December 2016, my kidneys were at a new low of 20 per cent and plunging rapidly.
“And I faced two choices: either regular dialysis or a kidney transplant.
“It wasn’t my idea of life. But the toxins in my body had started taking over. I couldn’t eat. I was surviving, but not living.
“I began to think about death. 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.”
She went on about the details and legal issues over the process: “One of the benefits of living in Switzerland is that assisted suicide is legal, though the patient has to inject the lethal drug herself.
“There are several organisations that facilitate the process, including Exit and Dignitas. I signed up to be a member of Exit, just in case.
“I think that’s when the idea of my death became a reality for Erwin. He was very emotional about not wanting to lose me, not wanting me to leave.”
It was at that point her husband offered her a kidney, with the donation taking place in 2017.
Tina added: “He said he didn’t want another woman, or another life; we were happy and he’d do anything to keep us together.
“Then he shocked me. He said that he wanted to give me one of his kidneys. I was overwhelmed by the enormity of his offer.
“But because I love him, my first response was to try to talk him out of taking such a serious and irreversible step.”
After going through a raft of psychological tests to check he was fit to cope with the operation, it went ahead on 7 April, 2017, with Tina adding: “Two operating theatres were prepared – one for the donor and one for the recipient – two surgical teams, two of everything. Erwin’s operation took place first.
“While I was understandably anxious about the transplant, I was far more concerned about him. After about an hour, it was my turn.
“When I awoke, I was so groggy that everything… the best moment was when Erwin came rolling into my room in his wheelchair.”
After announcing her death on Wednesday via an Instagram post without specifying a cause of death, the singer’s team said on Thursday (25.05.23) she had passed away from “natural causes”.