Journalist Derryn Hinch has revealed the heartbreaking reason John Farnham made a drastic lifestyle change and gave up smoking.
In an article published in The Big Smoke, Farnham’s friend of 40 years disclosed that one of the You’re The Voice singer’s adored son’s made an emotional plea, saying he didn’t want to lose his father.
“For years, John smoked too much. He only stopped when a precious son said, ‘Daddy, I don’t want you to die.’ So, he switched to cigars,” Hinch wrote.
“I tried to tell him that Robert Holmes à Court only smoked cigars (and didn’t inhale) but died of mouth cancer at 53.”
The 73-year-old singer is currently on the road to recovery following a shock cancer diagnosis on August 23, leading to a marathon surgery.
Farnham’s family revealed the surgery, lasting just shy of 12 hours, involved the “successful” removal of a tumour from Farnham’s mouth.
“John has been through an eleven and a half hour surgery in Melbourne yesterday and is now in a stable condition in ICU,” a statement from the family read.
“The cancer tumour was located in his mouth and it has been successfully removed. There is still a long road of recovery and healing ahead of us, but we know John is up for that task.
“We are in awe of the Incredible teams of health care professionals who have guided us through this very challenging time with such compassion. All of you undertook this big job today and have given us a magnificent outcome.
“To all the surgeons, doctors, nurses and consultants – thank you one and all so very much.”
Longtime friend and Australian media personality, Richard Wilkins, shared a touching tribute to Farnham on social media, along with a throwback photo of the pair.
“Spent a fair percentage of the last 24 hours thinking about this bloke and sending him all the love in the world …with prayers for a successful outcome … and plenty more happy days ahead!,” Wilkins wrote on Instagram.
“Stay strong Mate … the nation is holding it’s breath … and wishing you all the best … you deserve that !! … now where did I put that belt ??!!”
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Fellow cancer survivor and Hey Hey It’s Saturday star, John Blackman, has offered insight into Farnham’s recovery.
Having gone through the same gruelling surgery where he lost his jaw, Blackman said the singer will need people to rally behind him on the difficult and long road of healing ahead.
“Hopefully John will get through this with as little angst as possible, and he’s going to need all the support he can get,” Blackman told 7News.
“I know his family is very loving and they’re all going to gather around him.”
Farnham is currently in the ICU and will spend time in the hospital while he receives post-operative treatment.