Inside the health journey of Australian rock legend, Jimmy Barnes

''Have to be patient...''
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Australian rock legend Jimmy Barnes has suffered from numerous health complications in the previous year.

However, Jimmy has recently shared a positive update with fans, and even confirmed his return to the stage just months after undergoing open-heart surgery! He’s set to play at the Byron Bay Bluesfest on Sunday, March 31.

The 67-year-old’s most recent health issue was a severe infection, bacterial pneumonia, where he was rushed to hospital and forced to cancel his December concert in Noumea, New Caledonia.

Jimmy first had surgery in December 2022.

(Image: Instagram)

“I’m sorry to let you know that I’ve been receiving intravenous antibiotics over the last 36 hours to treat bacterial pneumonia,” he wrote on Facebook.

“Unfortunately, this has stopped me travelling to Noumea to join Rock The Boat 2023 as planned,’ he continued. My band will still perform on board, together with my daughter Mahalia and other special guests.

“I’d like to apologise sincerely to everyone for the inconvenience and disappointment this has caused, but the doctors have confined me to bed for two days.

“The timing couldn’t be worse. I’m expected to make a full recovery in time to perform live at By The C in Torquay,” he concluded. However, a statement was shared to Jimmy’s Instagram account on December 13, 2023, debunking his hopes of a performance, revealing he would be “out of action for a while.”

“Unfortunately I got some bad news late yesterday… despite everyone’s best efforts the bacterial infection I’ve been battling over the last fortnight has apparently now spread to my heart. It’s infected an otherwise healthy valve that was replaced some years ago due to a congenital defect, so I’ll be getting open heart surgery over the next few hours to clear our this infection and put in a clean valve,” he began.

“… It still feels hugely frustrating. Just a few weeks ago I was the fittest I’ve been in decades! Anyways, as you can hopefully appreciate, this has all happened very suddenly so it’s going to take a few days for everyone to figure out what’s going to be doable with my upcoming shows. I’m really sorry for all the inconvenience this will cause but please be patient…”

“In the meantime I’d like to thank my darling Jane for her around the clock love and care over the last few weeks in particular – as always I’d be lost without her.

“Given the serious nature of this operation I probably won’t be posting again for the next few weeks so all the best to you and yours for the holidays. Here’s hoping 2024 is full of much better things! Love from Jimmy,” he concluded.

Jimmy’s December statement to fans.

(Image: Instagram)

In the following hours, Jimmy’s wife Jane shared an update from the hospital.

“I’m happy to let you know that our Jimmy has made it through his surgery and is now recovering in the ICU. We are so grateful for the incredible medical team looking after him. Thank you for all the love and support. I will keep you all posted. 🙏♥️,” she wrote.

Jane is a constant by his side often making “one of [his] favourite meals” – “bangers & sweet potato mash, peas and onion gravy.”

Following hip and back surgery in December 2022 to resolve eight year’s worth of chronic pain, Jimmy has been in and out of hospital. The surgery resulted in his November 2022 tour being cancelled after “stomping around stages for nearly 50 years” had caught up with him.

Two weeks after the surgery, Jimmy was up and on his feet.

Jane shared a series of photos to reassure fans of Jimmy’s recovery.

(Image: Instagram)

“Have to be patient, that’s a tough one for me,” he confessed with a photo of him smiling on a exercise bike.

During this time his daughter, Elly-May Barnes took over his social media to reassure fans that he was on the mend.

“My incredible dadda is doing so well and is already on crutches today. I’m so proud of him!” she wrote.

Jimmy Barnes health is on the rise!

(Credit: Getty)

Following surgery, Jimmy and Jane assured fans that Jimmy would be home for Christmas!

In a post on X (formally Twitter), Jane shared to Jimmy’s account a picture of him smiling happily with the caption, On the 6th Day of Christmas my true love said to me … “the doctor says I can go home on Friday”. Jimmy will be home for Christmas, that’s the best present I could ever wish for 🙏”.

In January 2024, Jimmy provided fans with a positive update on his health.

“Always good to leave the hospital smiling,” the rockstar said.

“There’s still a long road ahead and many more check ups. There was a team of 7 specialists working on me, so there is a lot to follow up on. Another set of good bloods and it’s off with the ‘PICC Line’. I’m sure it’s saved my life but I cannot wait to be free.”

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