Neil Young’s health battle through the years – ‘It’s going to take its toll’

The voice behind timeless classics like Harvest Moon or Heart of Gold, Neil Young has battled more medical conditions than most.

Despite being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, polio and epilepsy as a child, Young went on to cement himself as an international star.

However, his health journey wasn’t always easy. 

The singer and songwriter, who was born in 1945, deteriorated so much that by 1951 he could barely even walk.

On top of his other ailments, he had to know when to inject insulin and test his blood sugar levels to manage his diabetes.

READ MORE Neil Young health: Doctors revived him after a ‘very serious’ illness

As a live performer, being epileptic is far less than ideal.

Factors like stress and flashing lights are known to trigger epileptic seizures.

Constantly on high alert, Young found it hard to completely relax on stage for many years. 

The star also recalled one of his epileptic fits which occurred while at a radio festival in 1967. 

He said on NPR’s Fresh Air: “I was having fun, and you know, maybe I’d forgotten to eat or something, I don’t know. 

“And then I felt kind of sick to my stomach, and then I started to feel all weird and echoey, and then I fell down, and I don’t really remember afterwards.” 

The performer confessed he always “left the stage” if he could feel seizure coming on.

Sadly, Young wasn’t dealt the best hand when it came to his health in later life either.

At the age of 54, the star suffered from a brain aneurysm that required surgery.

The country rock singer recalled in his memoir that he had noticed a “weird thing in [his] eye, like a piece of broken glass” prior to the diagnosis.

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Detailing the life-threatening experience, Young told Time: “So, I went to my doctor, had an MRI and the next morning I went to the neurologist.

“He says, ‘The good news is, you’re here; you’re looking good. The bad news is, you’ve got an aneurysm in your brain.’”

Brain aneurysm refers to a bulge in a blood vessel caused by a weakness in the blood vessel wall, the NHS explains.

Most brain aneurysms only cause noticeable symptoms once they burst.

Worryingly, this can lead to an “extremely serious” condition known as a subarachnoid haemorrhage, where bleeding triggered by the burst can cause extensive brain damage.

Therefore, Young’s doctors insisted the condition is “very serious” and needs to be addressed “right away.”

The star went on to have surgery but his health ordeal sadly didn’t stop there.

Two days after the operation, he had a horrific experience. He said: “Let’s just say there was a complication. 

“It was my femoral artery [which the surgeons had used to access his brain]. I was unconscious, and the emergency guys had to revive me.”

After being revived, the singer decided to make some drastic lifestyle changes in order to protect his health but Young confessed that his future career looks uncertain.

“I don’t think I’m going to be able to continue to mainly be a musician forever, because physically I think it’s going to take its toll on me — it’s already starting to show up here and there,” the star said.

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