How awful. Singer Jewel confessed all about her near death experience when she was refused medical treatment while she was homeless. Get the full heart-wrenching details here.
Singer/songwriter Jewel, 41, opened up about her homeless past in an all-new interview, revealing that she nearly died after a hospital refused to treat her because she didn’t have any health insurance.
Jewel’s breakthrough debut album, Pieces Of You, was the result of her tough Alaskan life, and the album’s success lifted her out of poverty. But there’s one moment she will never forget.
“I almost died in an emergency room because they didn’t see me because I didn’t have [health] insurance,” she told TODAY.com. “Thankfully, a doctor had seen me get turned away. I was dying of lead poisoning and he gave me some antibiotics and saved my life.”
However, her hardships didn’t end there. “But then, the car I was living in got stolen,” she continued. “And when you don’t have a physical address, much less of an education, it’s very, very difficult to get a job and break that poverty cycle.”
Jewel’s compassion for the homeless comes down to how she felt she was treated during those dark times. “For me, the hardest thing was being treated as if I was sub-human — as if I didn’t matter,” she said before she earned her big break. “I remember washing my hair at a bathroom sink in a Denny’s, and I was using the hand towels to dry my hair. And people looked at me like I was absolutely disgusting. I wanted to yell at them and say, ‘I’m human! I may not have a house, but I matter!’”
What a brave woman and an incredible story of battling against adversity to rise to the top. Since then, Jewel has gone to sell over 27 million records in what is a remarkable turnaround.
Jewel is getting ready to release her new album, Picking Up The Pieces, which she has described as “having a conversation with (her) 18-year-old self” and will feature songs written during those testing times. She is also working with ReThink Homelessness, an organization dedicated to changing perception about homelessness and its stereotypes.
“There are stigmas that these people are lazy, or don’t work, or do drugs,” she said. “I don’t want anyone thinking happiness is beyond their reach because they don’t have the right job or economic background, or a home.”
Are you excited for Jewel’s new album, HollywoodLifers? Are you shocked by her past? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
— Jon Boon