Frail and fading Willie Nelson canceled a string of tour dates because of breathing problems — but after undergoing experimental surgery for his chronic emphysema, the country legend’s set to be back on the road in September.
Just weeks ago, the “On the Road Again” singer’s tour ground to a halt in Ohio and, for the fourth year in a row, the 86-year-old pothead had to cancel concerts. He returned to Texas and consulted with doctors.
However, he quickly announced his comeback!
Insiders say the “Red Headed Stranger”’s amazing recovery is due to a miracle cure that has helped him manage his respiratory problems.
Willie underwent stem cell therapy in 2015. During the procedure, cells were harvested from other parts of the singer’s body and implanted into his lungs, with hopes of regenerating damaged tissue.
A source in his camp says: “He was hoping to get some relief from his lung and breathing issues.
“For Willie, getting on stage now can be torture for him.
“It’s hard to describe, but he feels like he has something in his lungs he wants to cough up but it just won’t come out, so he can be in a lot of discomfort.”
Insiders differ as to how much effect the stem cell treatment has had on Willie — a lifelong marijuana smoker who campaigned to legalize weed. But after consulting with doctors and family, he was keen to get back to performing as soon as medically possible. He will hit the stage on Sept. 6 in Gilford, N.H.
However, a source warns that Willie isn’t expected to be able to go on much longer, saying despite undergoing cures and treatments, Nelson has done huge damage to his internal organs.
“His emphysema isn’t going away, and he has bronchitis bouts every few months,” says the insider. “They put him on a respirator, but his lungs are so badly damaged there’s no repairing them. Willie’s life is being on the road, but it’s at the point now that any concert he plays could be his last.
“His wife Annie and the family fear even one bout of pneumonia will kill him now, and they urge him to be extra careful at all times.”