Shania Twain has overcome a number of serious health issues during her career, battles with Lyme disease and dysphonia that robbed the singer of her signature powerhouse country pop voice and led to an extended break in the early and mid 2000s, as well as throat surgery in 2018 to shore up her weakened nerves.
But in a new interview with England’s The Mirror, the “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” star said she was so sick during the pandemic that she had to be airlifted to a Swiss hospital. “It was progressively getting worse. My vital signs were getting worse… and in the end I had to be air evacuated,” Twain told the paper about the time she got COVID pneumonia in the midst of the global pandemic while in Lake Geneva, Switzerland and got so sick she could hardly breathe.
“It was like science fiction, I felt like I was going to another planet or something,” she said of the surreal helicopter ride to a local health clinic. “It all kind of happened in slow motion.” Luckily, Twain added, husband Frédéric Thiébaud — a Swiss exec for Nestlé — was there with her through the health ordeal, scrambling to find a scarce bed for his sick wife.
“My husband was freaking out, to be honest. He was really panicking because he was the one having to pull it all together,” she said of his rush to get her help. “He spent hours and hours every day on the phone, trying to get an air evacuation coordinated, trying to get a bed lined up, as there were none, checking my vital signs. It was just a real nightmare for him.”
Once they found a bed, Twain, 57, said she was placed in isolation and given plasma therapy drugs during a frightening episode. “It took several days to start building up any antibodies at all, so it was a very dangerous time and very scary,” she said. “I made it through and I’m just so grateful.”
Soon enough, Twain began to recover and begin working on her upcoming sixth studio album, Queen of Me, which is due out on Friday (Feb. 3).