*Etta James, who is terminally ill with leukemia, has been taken off a respirator and is breathing on her own again, her friend and manager said Friday.
Lupe De Leon said the 73-year-old singer is soon expected to leave the intensive care unit of a hospital near her home in Riverside, east of Los Angeles.
“The hospital is preparing Etta for release from ICU to a step down unit. She is stable and breathing on her own. Her blood pressure is normal,” De Leon said.
As previously reported, James was admitted to the hospital last week because she was struggling to breathe. She has been in failing health for several years and suffers from leukemia, kidney disease and dementia but had previously been cared for at her Southern California home.
Her live-in doctor said earlier in December that James was considered terminally ill, and that she communicates mostly with nods and simple words. The three-time Grammy Award singer earlier battled obesity and was addicted to heroin for many years.
*More sad news for the legendary Etta James. The Grammy-winning singer, who has been deemed terminally ill with leukemia, has been hospitalized in California and placed on a breathing machine, her long-time manager and friend said on Friday.
James, 73, best known for the blues ballad “At Last,” was taken to the hospital near her home in Riverside, east of Los Angeles, earlier this week because she was struggling to breathe.
“They took her to the hospital. She was having trouble breathing, so they intubated her. She is on a breathing machine and is resting,” Lupe De-Leon, the singer’s manager for 30 years, told Reuters.
The singer has been in failing health for a number of years and suffers from leukemia, kidney disease and dementia but had previously been cared for at her Southern California home.
Her live-in doctor said last week that James was considered terminally ill, and that she communicates mostly with nods and simple words.
The three-time Grammy Award singer earlier battled obesity and was addicted to heroin for many years.
“It is really sad. She is like my sister,” De-Leon said on Friday.
Etta James performs at the 2009 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival at the Fair Grounds Race Course on April 26, 2009 in New Orleans
*Blues legend Etta James is said to be terminally ill and has little time left after battling leukemia, dementia and kidney failure for several years now, according to the singer’s live-in physician.
Dr. Elaine James—who is not related to the 73-year-old Grammy winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer but has been providing the singer with around-the-clock care at the latter’s home—told SoCal’s Riverside Press-Enterprise that medical experts informed the performer two weeks ago that her chronic leukemia, a cancer of the blood and bone marrow, was incurable.
“I am Southern and Christian and would just ask for the prayers of her fans and friends,” the physician, who hails from South Carolina, told the newspaper following a court hearing regarding James’ $1 million estate.
The doctor says she wanted to go public to let James’ fans know the severity of her condition.
“They know she’s been sick, but not how sick,” she said.
James is barely able to communicate at this point, the physician added.
The probate proceeding in Riverside Superior Court was being held to determine whether legal authority over James’ affairs should be transferred from husband Artis Mills to her son, Donto James, who’s expressed concerns over his mother’s treatment and care.
Another hearing is set for Monday, but a settlement is reportedly in the works.
*Loretta Devine tells TVGuide.com she’s looking forward to her return to “Grey’s Anatomy” this fall, especially since the medical drama is continuing the heartwrenching story line that helped earn the veteran actress her first Emmy nomination for playing the Chief’s wife, Adele Webber, last season.
As TVGuide first reported, Richard (James Pickens Jr.) will step down as Chief of Surgery in Season 8, handing the reins over to Dr. Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd). Devine, who is slated to appear in at least one episode this season, thinks Adele won’t necessarily be happy with the news even though she has spent years trying to convince Richard to slow down and give up his position.
“A lot of times wives complain about stuff — like my husband watches too much baseball or he’s too attached to this, that, and the other — but, in a way, you’re really glad that the man has passions the same way we do,” Devine tells TVGuide.com. “Adele might say she doesn’t want him to work but that’s all she’s ever loved about him. She may be unhappy for him until he adjusts to his new life.”
For now, Devine just hopes Adele, who began a downward spiral into dementia last season, will be able to remember her husband, let alone the sacrifices he’s made for her. “You hope that there’s some kind of recovery for her or that there’s a better way of life or state of longevity of life, where she’s clear on things,” she says. “You’re hoping that she doesn’t even have it.”
Her newfound disease — suspected to be Alzheimer’s — was the catalyst for some of the biggest changes hitting Seattle Grace since it merged with Mercy West. Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) jeopardized her own career by tampering with her and Derek’s (Patrick Dempsey) clinical trial, and in turn, those ethical misdeeds forced Richard to resign as Chief.
It’s bittersweet that Meredith has risked her job for Adele, since it was her own family that once caused the Chief’s wife so much pain. Meredith’s now-deceased mother, who also suffered from Alzheimer’s, had carried on a decades-long affair with Richard while working at Seattle Grace back in the day.
Devine credits Grey’s creator Shonda Rhimes and her “tremendous writing” for the story coming full-circle. “They pre-plan everything now so by the end, everything just sort of matches up in an incredible way. The scene where I confront Meredith and I think she’s her mother, where she has to tell her, ‘No, I’m not my mom,’ it’s just incredible writing,” Devine recalls.
What was more exciting for Devine was playing out the deterioration of a once-strong female into someone who was forgetful and prone to accidents — landing her in the ER more than once without clear recollection of what happened, putting her in defense mode. “The whole fact that the character was totally in denial made absolute sense,” she says. “I think she was in denial up until the very end, and that’s what happens a lot of times with people who are dealing with the disease.”
Below, a preview of the upcoming “Grey’s Anatomy” season: