Fears for Australian icon John Farnham, 73, as he’s rushed to hospital just months after he underwent a 12-hour operation to remove cancer from his mouth: Star is ‘unlikely’ to ever perform again
John Farnham has been rushed to hospital with a respiratory infection.
The legendary singer, 73, had been recovering from major surgery in a rehabilitation centre, before he was hospitalised again with the lung infection.
‘He is currently being treated for a respiratory infection in hospital, but he is comfortable and receiving the very best care,’ his family confirmed in a statement on Friday.
Farnham underwent a 12-hour operation to have a tumour removed at a Melbourne hospital last August, shortly after being diagnosed with mouth cancer.
He had only discovered he had the cancerous growth in his mouth after his wife insisted on taking him to the doctor for a check up.
He is ‘unlikely’ to ever perform again.
John Farnham has been rushed to hospital with a respiratory infection
‘The cancer tumour was located in his mouth and it has been successfully removed,’ she said after his operation.
‘There is still a long road of recovery and healing ahead of us, but we know John is up for that task.’
Gaynor Wheatley, the widow of Glenn Wheatley, said Farnham’s family only learnt of his cancer a few weeks before his operation.
‘I think John suffers from that man thing that says ”I’m fine”, and was lucky, and we have Jill to thank to take him to the doctors (where they) found this legion in his mouth which has now been taken out and addressed,’ she told The Today Show at the time.
She said there was no complications, and thanked the ‘hero’ surgeons who operated on Farnham.
‘I think at one stage there was 26 surgeons, so they’re our heroes, they’re our rockstars,’ Ms Wheatley said.
Farnham earlier opened up about his smoking habit, which he says began when he was a ‘stupid’ 14-year-old.
He quit ‘cold turkey’ in 1992 after starring in Jesus Christ Superstar, but picked up the habit again with cigars in 2004.
Farnham (pictured with Olivia Newton-John) had been recovering from major surgery in a rehabilitation centre, before he was hospitalised again this week
He officially quit smoking for good just before his 70th birthday
‘Stupid habit. It was a little easier to quit from cigars, but I’m better off not smoking, I’m a bloody singer for God’s sake,’ he told the Herald Sun in 2019.
‘I’m using my lungs. I’ve already noticed the change. I’ve increased my range, I’ve got a bit more to give, I’ve taken a blockage out.’
Entertainment reporter Peter Ford said Farnham was given a ‘wake up call’ by one of his sons who told the singer ‘please stop smoking dad, I don’t want you to die’.
That led to him cutting out cigarettes for good.
‘He was always puffing away, I don’t think he was ever proud of it,’ the reporter said.
Farnham, in a separate statement provided by the family before his operation, said a cancer diagnosis was something many people face each day ‘and countless others have walked this path before me’.
‘The one thing I know for sure is that we have the very best specialist health care professionals in Victoria and we can all be grateful for that. I know I am,’ he said.
It comes three years after Farnham was hospitalised with a severe kidney infection – which saw him put down cigars for good.
More to come