Some people decide to take time off from work when a close family member contracts an illness that requires more attention and care. That is precisely what happened to Chuck Norris, who decided to risk his successful career in showbiz to become the main caregiver and support for his wife, Gena, when she became ill.
Renowned actor and martial arts specialist, Chuck Norris, has been part of many Hollywood productions in which he’s played the role of a strong and tough man, including Walker, Texas Ranger, which became a great hit.
However, this ex-marine also has a completely different, sentimental side, which he shows with his wife, model Gena O’Kelly, to whom he has been married since 1998 and with whom he has 2 children.
In 2013, his wife was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. But before proceeding with 3 MRI scans, she was given a contrast medium to improve the diagnostic value of the medical images.
Unfortunately, as the days passed, Gena began to feel different and, after a month, she was suffering from a burning sensation in different parts of her body. “I was in the emergency room for 5 or 6 nights in a row and the symptoms were getting worse, the burning sensation continued to spread throughout my body,” Gena said.
Those visits to the emergency room were the first of many for the couple, due to the terrible pain the woman was suffering. “When I arrived, they would ask me what was wrong and I would tell them that I didn’t know, that I didn’t feel well, that I felt like I was burning as if I had acid inside my body,” she explained.
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Thus 5 long months passed in which Gena’s life underwent a radical change, reaching the point of feeling so bad that she could not take care of herself.
Doctors ran various tests to find a diagnosis, from cancer to Parkinson’s to multiple sclerosis, while Gena was also soaking up information. Then she reached a point where everything pointed to the same thing: gadolinium poisoning, a toxic substance used as a contrast medium, which was given to her before her MRI.
Gena confessed that after realizing this, she went to the hospital, told the doctors what she had found, and told them that they had to find a way to get the chemical out of her body as soon as possible, as her life was in danger.
The answer was found in Reno, Nevada, through the use of alternative medicine, where Gena received a treatment that brought her, albeit slowly, back to life. “When we got there, she couldn’t swallow, so we had to feed her baby food through her esophagus,” was just one of the many experiences the actor recounted in an interview.
Gena’s deteriorating health caused her to go through a waking nightmare, going from being a very healthy and energetic person to being bedridden in a hospital bed.
However, it was in these hard times that her husband, Chuck, paid tribute to the promise made during their marriage: to be by her side in sickness and in health. The actor decided to put his career aside to become a full-time caregiver for his beloved life partner, being by her side in her recovery process.
“My wonderful husband was lying on a couch next to me during all this time, and he even read 17 books to me,” Norris’ wife said. It was a difficult time for the family, but one that they managed to get through thanks to their togetherness and support for each other. “I gave up my film career to focus on Gena. I think this issue is that important,” Chuck said in an interview.
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What do you think about people who are capable of doing something like this for their life partner? If you have any similar stories you would like to tell us, we would be happy to read them in the comments.