Johnny Russell Undergoes Major Surgery

Diabetes-related health problems forced Grand Ole Opry star Johnny Russell to have both legs amputated below the knee April 17 at Nashville’s Baptist Hospital. He is undergoing rehabilitation, and recovery is going well, according to a hospital spokesperson. A member of the Opry since 1985, Russell is the writer of hits such as “Act Naturally,” “Let’s Fall to Pieces Together,” “You’ll Be Back (Every Night in My Dreams),” “Makin’ Plans” and “Got No Reason Now for Goin’ Home.” Russell also suffers from heart and kidney problems. A tribute concert featuring Garth Brooks, Vince Gill, Porter Wagoner and a host of other Opry members took place March 22 at the Opry House in Nashville. The concert raised funds to help cover Russell’s continuing medical expenses. “The last several months have been challenging times for Johnny Russell,” Opry manger Pete Fisher recently said in a statement. “All of us at the Grand Ole Opry have admired his strength, courage and humor, which have carried him through this difficult period. We wish him well.” Cards can be sent to Russell at the Opry House, 2804 Opryland Drive, Nashville, TN 37214. Those who wish to make contributions can make checks out to “Johnny Russell Fund” and send them to JAH Inc., 2607 Crump Drive, Nashville, TN 37214.