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Tina Turner's Husband Donated His Kidney to Her Six Years Before She Died So She Could Live Longer

Tina Turner's Husband Donated His Kidney to Her Six Years Before She Died So She Could Live Longer

Actions speak louder than words...

In May 2023, American icon Tina Turner passed away.

She had been battling a worsening kidney condition brought on by hypertension, which developed into renal failure.

She had penned an open letter for "Show Your Kidneys Love" -- an awareness group concerning kidney health. In the letter, she shared that her husband actually donated his own kidney to her in 2017 — an act of selflessness and love — that saved her life.

Tina Turner's Long History of Kidney Disease — And What Erwin did to Help

Turner admitted in the letter that she long ignored the severity of her condition, which originated with a diagnosis of hypertension many years ago.

This developed over the years, worsening until it caused a stroke in 2009.

After the stroke, she learned that her kidneys had lost a considerable amount of function, and she began to come to terms with the seriousness of her situation.

She was placed on a prescription to monitor her blood pressure, but wrote, "with time I developed a fatal dislike of these pills." She opted instead to see a homeopathic doctor, considering it an alternative to the medication.

However, this decision would prove to be pivotal, as she admitted: "I had not known that uncontrolled hypertension would worsen my renal disease and that I would kill my kidneys by giving up on controlling my blood pressure. I never would have replaced my medication by the homeopathic alternatives if I had had an idea how much was at stake for me."

Faced with a life-or-death situation, she began a treatment called dialysis, which requires being hooked up to machinery for hours at a time to replace the typical function of one's kidneys. At this point, her "kidney function had reached its all-time low."

"In order to survive, I had to start dialysis," she wrote. "It was my only option, but it was depressing to be connected to a machine for hours. For the next nine months, all my life was about dialysis." At one point, she even considered medically assisted suicide.

How and when Tina Tuner's husband stepped in

Turner met Erwin Bach in 1986-- a decade after her infamous divorce from Ike Turner. Bach is a German music executive, who met the American star when he was tasked with picking her up from the Dusseldorf Airport.

Turner was 16 years older than him at the time but remembers feeling love at first sight. The two dated for 27 years before ultimately tying the knot in 2013.
They remained fiercely committed to each other, and Bach made the huge decision to donate one of his kidneys to her in 2017, the first step in a complex procedure.

She describes that he “shocked me by saying that he wanted to give me one of his kidneys," adding that she was “overwhelmed by the enormity of his offer.”

In her open letter to raise awareness around her condition, she describes the time after her kidney transplant as "a never-ending up and down."

"From time to time my body tried to reject the donor kidney as it frequently happens after transplantation. Every so often this required more hospital admissions. I kept feeling nauseous and dizzy, forgot things, and was scared a lot."

However, the procedure was a success and helped extend Turner's life by years.

Erwin did not want to lose his wife and was willing to give everything he could to keep her healthy. As the saying goes, actions speak louder than words, and Bach truly put his money where his mouth was by stepping up to donate a kidney.

According to Donate Life, more than 90,000 people in the U.S. are waiting for a kidney donation, and it can take an average of three to five years to receive a kidney from a deceased donor.
Bach's decision to go under the knife for his wife seriously lessened this waiting time, which is typically the hardest part of the transplant procedure.

Though her condition ultimately claimed her life this past month, Bach's decision to donate his kidney marks a bold move of selfless love. Humans have a tremendous capacity for empathy, and stories such as this can remind us how powerful a bond between two people can be.

When we truly do not want to lose someone, we are willing to go to any length. Erwin Bach's decision to donate a kidney captures an unwavering kind of love that can inspire us all to step up for those we cherish.


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