Shania Twain's 'scary' symptoms after contracting 'devastating' disease

-Credit: (Image: ITV)
-Credit: (Image: ITV)

Country music queen Shania Twain once feared her career was over after she contracted a disease which led to vocal chord damage. The superstar, 58, will take to the Pyramid Stage today for the annual “Legends” slot at 3:45pm, with her set expected to finish at 5pm.

But she was once in a dark place fearing as she recalled the “depressing and devastating” realisation after she was told she may never sing again after contracting Lyme disease and having open-throat surgery. Shania contracted the tick-borne illness in 2003 while out on a horse ride, and her voice was damaged by the effects of dysphonia -the term used to refer to disorders of the voice that present as a hoarse, weak, breathy or strained voice - as a result.

The bacterial infection is spread to humans by infected ticks and can cause an oval shape rash and flu-like symptoms a few days or weeks after being bitten. More serious symptoms may develop if it is not treated, or it's not treated early according to the NHS, including pain and swelling in the joints and nerve problems like numbness or pain in your limbs.

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In her documentary for Netflix, Not Just a Girl, Shania explained how she had suffered 'scary' symptoms after contracting the disease on a horse ride. “The tick was infected with Lyme disease, and I did get Lyme disease,” she said.

“My symptoms were quite scary because before I was diagnosed, I was on stage very dizzy. I was losing my balance, I was afraid I was gonna fall off the stage… I was having these very, very, very millisecond blackouts, but regularly, every minute or every 30 seconds.”

She added: “My voice was never the same again. I thought I'd lost my voice forever. I thought that was it, [and] I would never, ever sing again.”

Appearing on ITV show Lorraine last year, Shania discussed her health as she promoted latest album Queen of Me, which is the first album she has released since having open-throat surgery.

The Canadian singer said: “It was quite depressing and devastating to imagine that [not being able to sing again]. Even speaking has been difficult with the Lyme disease.

"Now I’m just feeling so grateful that I can sing and express myself. And this now is my first album since the operation on my voice.”

Touching on the scary medical procedure, she said: “You have to be awake while they do it. I was more afraid of never singing again than getting through the operation.

“The reason you have to be awake for the operation is that you have to sing during it so they know exactly what to do.”