“It’s been terribly challenging for us all,” Ozzy Osbourne, 71, said when speaking about his health struggles over the past twelve months. The metal icon, along with his wife, Sharon Osbourne, 67, daughter Kelly, 35, and son Jack, 34, sat down with Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts to discuss the private health battle he experienced after falling in his home last February. Following a case of pneumonia and the crash that forced him to cancel the back half of his 2019 tour, Ozzy was given a serious diagnosis: he had Parkison’s disease, an incurable nervous disorder that affects movement.
“I got a numbness down this arm for the surgery, my legs keep going cold,” said Ozzy, who underwent neck surgery following the fall. Afterward, he spent the following twelve-months secluded while recovering in his home. “I don’t know if that’s the Parkinson’s or what, you know, but that’s — see, that’s the problem. Because they cut nerves when they did the surgery. I’d never heard of nerve pain, and it’s a weird feeling.”
“It’s PRKN 2,” sad, Sharon. “There’s so many different types of Parkinson’s; it’s not a death sentence by any stretch of the imagination, but it does affect certain nerves in your body. And it’s — it’s like you have a good day, a good day, and then a really bad day.”
.@ABC NEWS EXCLUSIVE: “The hardest thing is watching someone you love suffer.” Rock legend @OzzyOsbourne’s kids @JackOsbourne and @KellyOsbourne open up about their family’s new normal after their father’s Parkinson's diagnosis. https://t.co/tYd0K3rQet pic.twitter.com/8ayAFwOi9M
— Good Morning America (@GMA) January 21, 2020
As to why Ozzy was going public with the diagnosis now, the “Crazy Train” singer admitted that he couldn’t keep it hidden anymore. “I’m no good with secrets. I cannot walk around with it anymore ’cause it’s like I’m running out of excuses, you know?” He said that he is managing the disease through treatment, including medication and nerve pills.
It was Jack and Kelly who first noticed something wasn’t right with their father. “Jack saw it first,” said Kelly. “And when I saw it, myself, it would be – it’s really strange how it works. There are some days when I walk in this house, and I’m like, ‘there’s absolutely nothing wrong with him.’ …and then, you come back the next day, and nothing has happened, it’s like, he can’t feel his arm, and he can’t get off the couch. The hardest thing is watching someone you love suffer.” Through tears, Kelly admitted that there’s a “role reversal,” where she and Jack are telling Ozzy to “ ‘snap out of it. Come on we — we have to all admit what’s happening here,’ so that we can get over this. And it took a while for everyone to be on the same page.”
Jack, who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2012, said he related with Ozzy and the desire to keep the disease personal. “I understand when you have something you don’t want to have — but if he wants to talk, and if not — I try to slip in information.”
The Osbournes have united in support of Ozzy, who said that it’s been hard adjusting to this new reality. “Coming from a working-class background, I hate to let people down. I hate to not do my job,” he said. “And so when I see my wife goin’ to work, my kids goin’ to work, everybody’s doing — tryin’ to be helpful to me, that gets me down because I can’t contribute to my family, you know. But you know, put it this way — I’m a lot better now than I was last February. I was in a shocking state.”
What’s next for Ozzy? Sharon said that he’s continuing his recovery and that they’ll soon seek other forms of treatment outside of the U.S. “We’ve kind of reached a point here in this country where we can’t go any further because we’ve got all the answers we can get here. So in April — we’re going to a professional in Switzerland. And he deals with — getting your immune system at its peak.”
This diagnosis doesn’t mean that Ozzy is giving up music. Quite the opposite. He can’t wait to get back on the stage and to reunite with his fans. “They’re my air, you know,” said Osbourne of his fans. “I feel better. I’ve owned up to the fact that I have — a case of Parkinson’s. And I just hope they hang on and they’re there for me because I need them. I wanna see my people, you know. It’s like I’m — I miss them so much.”