Jimmy Osmond made headlines late last year when he suffered a stroke following a pantomime performance in the UK and while fans have been eagerly awaiting an update on the singer’s health, it turns out his own family aren’t aware of the star’s condition.
Jimmy was the youngest member of the sibling musical group The Osmonds, but his brother Merrill claims he and his brothers have no idea how sick Jimmy is. Speaking exclusively to the Daily Express, the 65-year-old singer confirmed his brother was back in the United States after suffering a stroke in Birmingham.
He added that the star was “hurting pretty bad” but that doctors weren’t giving family updates on the severity of his condition. According to Merrill, it’s the way Jimmy, his wife and children wanted it. Merrill also claimed his brother didn’t want any visitors.
“Jimmy has been through a lot and he just wants to be all by himself right now,” he told the publication. “We’re all giving him that space. It’s just his wife and children with him right now.”
Jimmy, 55, had been playing Captain Hook in Peter Pan at Birmingham Hippodrome and was hospitalised and diagnosed with a stroke shortly after his performance on December 27.
“On the evening of Thursday December 27th after pushing through the evening’s performance of Peter Pan at Birmingham Hippodrome, Jimmy Osmond was driven straight to hospital and diagnosed with a stroke,” a spokesperson for the singer said in a statement at the time. “He is grateful for all the well wishes and will be taking time out in the new year.”
Birmingham Hippodrome’s Artistic Director and Chief Executive Fiona Allan also explained that Jimmy’s co-stars were shocked and saddened by the news.
“Everyone here at Birmingham Hippodrome has been deeply saddened to hear of Jimmy’s sudden illness,” she said at the time. “Jimmy loved being a part of the Hippodrome’s well-renowned panto, and his portrayal of Captain Hook was both dastardly and heartwarming.
“He won the adoration not just of our audiences, but also of all our staff – we all send Jimmy and his family very best wishes for a speedy recovery.”
A stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted. A person may experience a stroke when there is a blocked artery (known as an ischaemic stroke), or when the artery bursts (known as a haemorrhagic stroke). It’s still not known which kind of stroke the ‘When He Comes Again’ singer suffered.
A stroke can be life-threatening and life-changing, with one in six people worldwide expected to suffer a stroke in their lifetime. Each year, five million people die because of a stroke, while a further five million are left permanently disabled.
As well as his work with The Osmonds, Jimmy was a solo artist who many around the world remember as “Little Jimmy”. He was the youngest person to have a No. 1 song in the United Kingdom when his hit ‘Long Haired Lover From Liverpool’ topped the charts.
‘Tweedle Dee’ and ‘I’m Gonna Knock On Your Door’ are some of his other iconic songs, while he’s also appeared in an array of movies and TV specials over the years.