Star-Bulletin Features

Wednesday, August 11, 1999

Nabors recovers, to sing again

By Tim Ryan


Entertainer Jim Nabors says the most surprising thing about his recent minor stroke wasn't having it, but "how many people cared about how I'm doing."

That's not surprising considering the amount of community work the Diamond Head resident has done during his nearly 30 years in Hawaii, and his accessibility to fans and the news media.

Nabors, 69, suffered a transient ischemia attack -- or temporary tissue anemia caused by a blood clot -- at his Hana macadamia nut farm three weeks ago.

TIA, as it is also known, is a brief interruption of the blood supply to a part of the brain, resulting in temporary impairment of vision, speech, sensation or movement.

Nabors had just arrived in Hana with a friend on his private plane, and was sitting in a chair shortly after getting to his farm when he realized his right arm wouldn't move.

"It was like it belonged to somebody else," Nabors said. "There was no feeling in it."

Nabors managed to stand and get to the door, where he tried to call out to a friend in a neighboring building. When he couldn't remember the name of his longtime friend, "I knew I was in trouble," Nabors said.

"At that point I realized I couldn't talk," he said. "I managed to get out a very quiet, "Help.' "

A moment later, Nabors' friend ran over and called paramedics, who gave Nabors fluids and rushed him to the Hana clinic for additional assistance before the entertainer was flown to Maui Memorial in Kahului. By the next morning, Nabors had gotten back use of his arm and voice, he said.

Nabors then spent about five days at Queen's Hospital. There was no permanent damage, he said.

A week after being discharged, Nabors was hit with a bacterial infection that eventually caused him to seek medical treatment again at Queen's.

The recent illnesses forced Nabors to cancel one of four mainland singing engagements. He will leave next week to begin his tour in Shreveport, La.

Nabors has just finished recording "When He Spoke," his first recording in 20 years, a compilation of gospel songs.

The album was recorded in Nashville and can be ordered by calling 1-888-JIM-NABORS.

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