Amid a challenging health battle, Australian rock legend Jimmy Barnes found solace and strength in an unexpected source – fellow music icon, John Farnham.
Barnes was hospitalised in late November last year due to bacterial pneumonia. Later he shocked fans with the revelation that he was set to undergo open-heart surgery after the infection spread.
The Working Class Man hitmaker recently opened up about the difficult moments he faced before undergoing heart surgery and how Farnham provided some much needed encouragement.
“I was critical before they said they had to operate on my heart. There were moments there where I said to Jane, ‘I don’t think I’m going to make it’,” Barnes confessed to The Herald Sun.
“I was so hot and in so much pain, labouring just to think… John rang me in hospital. It was so great. He made a joke with me and we were laughing.
“I hadn’t heard his voice since he had surgery and he’s going, ‘Ah, I just thought I’d call and I want to encourage you to get through’.”
Barnes revealed that having Farnham’s support during such a challenging time “lifted my spirits so much”.
Farnham was no doubt well placed to offer Barnes some much-needed advice given his own recent health challenges.
In August 2022, Farnham underwent surgery and treatment for mouth cancer. Following multiple surgeries, 8 weeks of radiation, and a few setbacks, Farnham was given the “all clear” by doctors in July 2023 and was declared cancer free.
To celebrate the incredible news, Farnham issued a statement to fans on Wednesday, August 23, 2023 his first since receiving surgery.
“It’s been a year since my first surgery and to be honest I’ve lost count as to how many other procedures there’s been since then,” Farnham said at the time.
“I’m sure someone’s kept track of them all – let’s just say, there’s been a few. But, I’m home now and I’m a very grateful and happy man. I’m sitting here in my living room lapping up the attention from my beautiful wife, Jill, my boys Rob and James and my mini Schnauzer, Edmund.
“It’s only now that I can start to appreciate and comprehend, for myself, how many messages of love and support have been sent to me over the past year. I don’t know what to say, other than thank you so very much. It honestly means the world to me. Thank you to everyone who took the time to write and send a message.
“Today is a special day. And I’m going to mark it by having a pizza – because I can! I can’t wait to see what might be next on the menu. Bring on 2024.”