"I Was Walking Bent Over For 20 Years": 69-Year-Old Gloria Gaynor Reflects On Her Spinal Surgery After Decades Of Chronic Pain

Date June 10, 2019 17:38

I Will Survive is the most famous song by Gloria Gaynor, released in October 1978. The song narrates about a person who breaks up with the beloved one and hence, one uses all the strength to live on.

Oh no, not I, I will survive 
Oh, as long as I know how to love, I know I'll stay alive 


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The composition is often used as an anthem to the feminist movement, the gay community, and the HIV-infected. 

Personal struggles

The singer was suffering from chronic pain stemming from a stage nightmare for decades. It gripped her spine, leading to a risky two-part surgery in 2018.

According to PEOPLE's exclusive interview, Gloria Gaynor unwrapped her sleeves by telling a scary moment when she thought her life would end soon. 

I thought I was going to die.


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After the first part of the surgery, the hitmaker had to go to ICU. The doctor had to break her spine and reconstruct it later. This procedure is extremely rare due to its complexity and the requirement of a high level of precision.

Back in 1978, Gloria Gaynor fell over a monitor on the stage at New York City’s Beacon Theatre. 

The next morning, I woke up paralyzed from the waist down. I called my boyfriend and said, ‘Please come — I can’t move my legs.’ 


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This frightening situation is in the past now. Gaynor cited the lyrics, "First I was afraid. I was petrified" while describing her true feelings at a first glance.


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The I Will Survive singer concluded:

I was walking bent over for 20 years. Right after the surgery when they got me up and I was walking up straight for the first time . . . it was incredible!


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Gloria Gaynor knew about the high percentage of paralysis after the surgery, but her faith in God was stronger than any fear at that time. Well done, the survivor Gloria Gaynor!