Ozzy Osbourne Hospitalized with Flu Complications as Sharon Thanks Fans for 'Concern and Love'
A week after postponing his tour due to the flu and bronchitis, the rocker has been hospitalized following recovery complications
Wife Sharon announced the news via Twitter Wednesday, writing, “As some of you may have heard, Ozzy was admitted to hospital following some complications from the flu. His doctors feel this is the best way to get him on a quicker road to recovery.”
She added, “Thanks to everyone for their concern and love.”
The Black Sabbath rocker, 70, was forced to postpone the entirety of his U.K. and European leg of his “No More Tour 2” tour on Jan. 29.
The day prior, Osbourne announced he was postponing the first four dates of the tour due to his sickness. However, when the “Crazy Train” singer paid his doctor a second visit, he was diagnosed with a severe upper-respiratory infection, the musician’s rep said in a statement at the time. Because of the toll touring takes on his body and his extensive travel schedule in severe winter conditions, the doctor feared the infection could develop into pneumonia.
“I’m completely devastated for having to postpone the European leg of my tour,” Osbourne said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE. “It just seems that since October everything I touch has turned to s—.”
“First the staph infection in my thumb and now coming down with the flu and bronchitis,” he continued, detailing exactly what he’s been suffering from. “I want to apologize to all of my fans who have been so loyal over the years, my band, my crew and to Judas Priest for letting you all down. However, I promise the tour with Judas Priest will be completed. It’s being rescheduled right now to start in September. Again, I apologize to everyone. God Bless. Love you all, Ozzy.”
In October, legendary rocker, who underwent hand surgery at Los Angeles’ Cedars-Sinai Medical Center earlier that month, recalled how he “freaked out” when he discovered his right hand had swelled up after contracting a potentially deadly staph infection — and his thumb was 10 times bigger than usual “the size of a f—in’ lightbulb.”
“I didn’t feel sick, so I was cracking jokes,” he recently told Rolling Stone about his trip to the emergency room due to three separate staph infections in his thumb, one of which spread to his middle finger.
“The doctor said, ‘I don’t know if you realize, Mr. Osbourne, this is a very serious problem you have.’ [Wife] Sharon said, ‘Would you stop f—ing making jokes?’ ” Osbourne recalled, laughing. “So I said, ‘Well, it’s my hand.’ ”
However, Ozzy quickly noticed that he was the only one joking about his injury. “They’re all extremely, deadly serious about it,” he said about his doctor and his wife. “I judge it based on the expression and the body language of the doctor. If he comes in with a really solemn face, I go, ‘Oh, OK. My time to go is up.’ ”
On Oct. 6, the father of three announced his hospitalization with a photo of himself in a hospital bed with one hand resting in a bandage and the other hand holding an ice cream cone.
Describing his surgery, Osbourne remembered the “agony” of getting the flesh in his hand cleaned out. “I could hardly move. I really had no energy,” he said.
“They cut all this stuff out. Even with the numbing stuff, it was agony. It wasn’t pus, but it was the stage after pus, when it gets in the blood and goes in your body and f—ing kills you,” he said. “It may sound f—ed up what I’m saying to you, but he was really concerned about checking my blood.”
As for how he contracted the infections, Osbourne recalled how meeting his fans may have affected his health. “The doctor said to me, ‘Can you remember talking to someone and shaking hands?’ Well, I do that meet and greet at the gig and I must shake f—ing 200 hands a day. He said, ‘That explains it,’ ” he said.
Osbourne spent less than a week in the L.A. hospital before he was discharged and instructed to soak his injured hand in a special soap twice a day for about 10 days. Throughout his recovery, his mind was focused on his concert dates, which he eventually postponed due to his surgery.
“I said to Sharon, ‘What the f— am I gonna do for the gig?’ Then the doctor said, ‘You must be f—ing crazy. You get another staph infection, and you could die.’ He said, ‘One’s enough. You’ve got three individual ones,’ ” he said.
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Though he had to cancel multiple shows, Osbourne is grateful for his health. “I’m going to make those shows up next year,” he said. “It could have been a lot worse. I could have been dead.”
In November 2017, Osbourne announced his global “farewell world tour” from 2018 to 2020. “People keep asking me when I’m retiring,” he said in a statement. “This will be my final world tour, but I can’t say I won’t do some shows here and there.”
“I’ve been extremely blessed to have had two successful music careers,” Osbourne said in a release. “I’m looking at this final tour as being a huge celebration for my fans and anyone who has enjoyed my music over the past five decades.”