Loretta Lynn Opens Up About Rough Recovery From Stroke and Broken Hip

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Loretta Lynn stroke recovery
John Russell/CMA

With a new album, Wouldn’t it Be Great, just released, Loretta Lynn is speaking out about her rough recovery from a stroke in 2017, followed by a fall in January 2018, which resulted in a broken hip.

“I wasn’t goin’ to let it stop me,” Loretta tells People. “You just can’t sit down and say ‘Hey, take me.’”

The legendary singer suffered a stroke while at her home at Hurricane Mills. The results affected the left side of her body, she was unable to use her left hand or left arm. “Your mind tells you, ‘You can!’ but your body soon tells you, ‘No you can’t quite do this,’” she says. “Got to work at it.”

Immediately following the stroke, Loretta began thinking about her singing career and how that would be affected.

“It’s a very scary thing when you find out you’re havin’ a stroke,” Loretta says. “I wondered if I could sing. Mommy said I was born singin’. That’s all I’ve ever done. I couldn’t believe that that could be taken away.”

The good news was that her voice was left in good condition, which resulted in the release of her latest album “Wouldn’t it Be Great.” However, the singer had to head straight to therapy to rehabilitate her left side.

“I told the girl that was doing therapy with me, ‘Do not help me anymore. The next time you see me, I will be using my hand and arm,’ and I was, and she could not believe it.”

Tougher than ever, the 86-year-old felt better and began getting back to what she knew best—making music. However, in January 2018 she had a setback when she took a fall at her home and broke her hip.

“I think people thought I wouldn’t come back from that,” Loretta adds. “And they’re really shocked when I tell them, ‘Well, I’m doing good, I’m moving my arms, I’m moving all my parts and I can still sing.’”

While she still has some effects from the stroke—her memory is fuzzy, her left side is weaker and she relies on a walker to get around—but that won’t stop the country icon from doing what she loves.

“This album means a lot to me,” Loretta said.  “I will get completely better if I go out and hit the stage a couple times. I need to show everybody that I can do it.”

Loretta will hit the stage on Oct. 17 at CMT’s 2018 Artists of the Year celebration to accept the award for Artist of a Lifetime.