Jimmy Osmond is out of the woods after suffering a stroke, will need months of rest and recovery, MailOnline can reveal today. He and his entire performing family recently participated in a special to air January 19-20 on "The Lost 45s."
The American star, 55. fell ill on stage at the Birmingham Hippodrome last week but still 'pushed through' the performance and signed autographs for fans at the stage door before being rushed to hospital.
A source close to Jimmy told MailOnline today that he is comfortable after his second stroke in 15 years, adding: 'He has received the care he needs and is looking forward to a few months of self care'.
The father of four, who found fame as a child star in the Seventies as the youngest member of The Osmonds, was appearing in Peter Pan at the Birmingham Hippodrome.
His diagnosis was only announced yesterday when it also emerged that that he will be unable to perform again in the show, scheduled to run until January 27.
He said: ‘My wife Michelle took me to hospital and it was discovered I’d had a stroke – I didn’t have high cholesterol, high blood pressure or any other warning sign. An ultrasound scan showed I had a hole in my heart the size of a pound coin, which had contributed to the stroke because when my body was under stress, it was sending little blood clots up to my brain.’
Including classic hits by The Osmonds, such as "Crazy Horses" reworded as "Crazy Pirates," it has earned rave reviews from critics. One called it ‘magical, mystical and mind-blowing’.
Yesterday Birmingham Hippodrome’s artistic director and chief executive Fiona Allan said: ‘Everyone here at Birmingham Hippodrome has been deeply saddened to hear of Jimmy’s sudden illness. He won the adoration not just of our audiences, but also of all our staff – we all send Jimmy and his family very best wishes...’
It was in 1972 that ‘Little’ Jimmy Osmond topped the charts for five weeks – aged just nine – with Long Haired Lover From Liverpool.
He has spoken of the special relationship he has always enjoyed with audiences in Britain, where in recent years he has appeared on "I’m A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here" and other reality TV shows.
Last night, loyal fans of The Osmonds sent their best wishes for his recovery via social media. Osmond is the youngest member of the sibling musical group the Osmonds. He began performing when he was aged just three years old and by nine he was the youngest artist to have had a number one in the UK with his hit 'Long Haired Lover From Liverpool'.
The performer married Michelle Larson in 1992 and is a father to four children: Isabella Olive Renee Osmond, Arthur Wyatt Osmond, Sophia Michele Osmond and Zachary James Osmond.
He first suffered a stroke 15 years ago, when he discovered it was caused by a hole in his heart. Jimmy had been in Missouri recording his TV show Jimmy Osmond's American Jukebox when he was suddenly overcome with a blinding headache.
'It came on so fast and I could hardly see - it was as if I had tunnel vision,' he told Mail Online at the time. 'Somehow, I managed to get to the end of the show. How I drove home I have no idea and I should not have done it because I couldn't even see the lines in the middle of the road, but I was desperate to get back to my family and go to bed.
'The following morning I tried to get up, but felt so dizzy that I fell over. My vision was still bad and this terrible headache was gnawing away right at the base of my skull.'
He thought it was a severe migraine but his wife drove him to the local hospital where doctors advised him to have a brain scan. The tests revealed he had suffered a stroke caused when small clots break off, temporarily blocking the blood flow in small vessels, which leaves part of the brain without oxygen for a few minutes.
Doctors found Jimmy had what's called a Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) - a hole the size of a coin in his heart.
It was a birth defect but had gone undetected because Jimmy previously had no signs of possible heart problems.
'My doctor explained that over time, tiny blood clots that he described as 'particles' had traveled from my heart to my brain, forming a large clot, and this is what had caused the stroke.
'He warned me that unless I had emergency surgery to close the hole then I was at risk of having another stroke.'
'I remember being on the trolley saying goodbye to Michelle and the kids, then just before I went under the anaesthetic, a doctor came waving a liability form for me to sign, saying, 'I have to tell you that this procedure could take your life', which didn't help matters at all.
'The operation, which lasted about an hour, was straightforward but the recovery was painful. Afterwards I spent a week in hospital until I was fit and able to go home.'
Jimmy went on to play at the Genting Arena in Birmingham in 2017, part of his first solo tour of the UK in four years as he celebrated 50 years in show business.
His mother Olive died in 2004 at the age of 79 from a massive stroke and it's now thought it was caused by an undiagnosed hole in her heart.
As the defect was suspected to be genetic, Jimmy's eight siblings, his children, nephews and nieces have all been checked.
Results have showed three of Jimmy's brothers, two of his nephews and his daughter Bella all had the same condition.
They have all have operations except Bella, who was a baby at the time. Because she had such a tiny hole, doctors said it was best to let it close on its own, which it did.
'I still cannot believe that I never had any symptoms as a child,' Jimmy said. 'Doctors say there are few, if any at all.'