Shania Twain and her husband Frederic Thiébaud were living in Lake Geneva, Switzerland, at “the height of the pandemic” when breathing became more and more difficult. Suffering complications from covid and pneumonia, Twain eventually had to be airlifted to a hospital to save her life.
“It was progressively getting worse. My vital signs were getting worse… and in the end I had to be air evacuated,” she told the UK tabloid Mirror. “It was like science fiction, I felt like I was going to another planet or something. It all kind of happened in slow motion.”
Thiébaud was having trouble finding a bed for the legendary singer, as even in Switzerland, medical beds were hard to come by. “My husband was freaking out, to be honest,” she told the tabloid. “He spent hours and hours every day on the phone, trying to get an air evacuation coordinated, trying to get a bed lined up, as there were none, checking my vital signs. It was just a real nightmare for him.”
Twain said she received plasma therapy and, like many covid patients, had to be isolated during her care. “It took several days to start building up any antibodies at all, so it was a very dangerous time and very scary,” Twain said. “I made it through and I’m just so grateful.”
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Having a caregiver proved crucial for Twain’s recovery. “I thought, ‘Wow, if I was living alone in a more isolated scenario, I don’t know what would have happened,’” she said. “My heart goes out to people who don’t have that support to help them get the right care.”
A scary turn with covid is the latest major health battle Twain has disclosed. Previously, she was worried she’d never be able to sing again after a 2004 tick bite led to a Lyme disease diagnosis. That led to throat surgery in 2018.
Now, Twain is preparing for her sixth album, Queen of Me. One of the songs references her covid fight. “I was inspired that I still had air in my lungs,” she said. “It’s great to be just singing again, on a tour with my new voice after my surgery. I’m in a very celebratory state of mind.”