April 17, 2022 – 09:47
Gena O’Kelly, his partner since 1998, suffered malpractice in the treatment of his arthritis: they injected him with gadolinium, a highly toxic chemical element.
Not against the Soviet army, not against some mercenaries or a drug cartel. The hardest fight in the life of Chuck Norris (82) occurs behind closed doors of his house. And he has his wife as the protagonist.
Gena O’Kelly, his partner since 1998, suffered malpractice in the treatment of his arthritis in 2013, so since then the legendary action movie actor decided to make a drastic, but unquestionable, decision: he abandoned his career in Hollywood to help the great love of his life.
Norris himself has been telling for years what happened to his wife, 58 and mother of two of his five children. ‘He was given an injection prior to a body scanner. It was in 2013, to check the characteristics of his arthritis,’ he revealed a while ago. The truth is that in that procedure, O’Kelly was injected with gadolinium, a highly toxic chemical element.
‘It damaged his nervous system, thus deteriorating his kidneys and causing him to lose abilities. He feels that his whole body is burning,’ the actor described the suffering of his wife. The fight is together: the couple has spent almost two million dollars on medical treatment. And they do not sit idly by: they filed a lawsuit for 10 million of this same currency against 11 pharmaceutical companies for the use of gadolinium.
For all this, Norris decided to put an end to a film career that began more than 40 years ago. ‘I have given up my film career to dedicate my entire life to keeping Gena alive. That is the most important thing, that she continues with us and that what has happened to her does not suffer anyone else, “said the actor, according to the newspaper El País in 2019.
Today, Norris and O’Kelly spend their days on their ranch in the state of Texas. regrets? Nothing of that. ‘My love for her is stronger than my career, money, anything else. She’s sick, she’s in pain, and I’ll be her custodian and comforter to her,’ Norris remarked.
Chuck Norris, an icon of Hollywood action movies
Born on March 10, 1940 in Oklahoma, United States, the actor’s document contains his real name: Carlos Ray Norris. His nickname, Chuck, arose in 1958, while the actor was undergoing military training at the Lackland Air Force Base (San Antonio).
There, one of his classmates asked him if he knew how to say his name in English, to which he replied ‘Charles’. ‘Charles’s nickname is ‘Chuck’, so from now on I’m going to call you that,’ they replied, so from then on the actor was known in this other way.
The truth is that after several years serving the Air Force (in which he began his training in martial arts, especially during his stay in South Korea with the army), Norris returned to the United States and began to venture into the world of cinema, at the same time that he participated in karate tournaments (he was world champion in this discipline), judo and even full contact.
The renowned actor Steve McQueen had a lot to do with the latter: it was he who recommended Norris, who was then a martial arts teacher in Los Angeles, to venture into the world of cinema. ‘If you can’t do anything else, you always have acting,’ the 1970s Hollywood star told him.
That’s how it all started. His name began to gain relevance on the big screen after The Return of the Dragon (1972), the film in which he starred alongside Bruce Lee, in which both perform one of the most remembered scenes in cinema: they fight in nothing more and nothing less than the Roman Coliseum.
After that, Norris participated in other successes such as McQuade, the lone wolf (1983), Missing in action (1984) or Delta Force (1986). Of course, one of his most remembered roles was in the series Walker, Texas Ranger, which aired between 1993 and 2001, in which he played Cordell Walker.
Retirement, the two heart attacks in a row and his facet as an entrepreneur
One of his last appearances in Hollywood was in The Expendables 2 (2012), when he participated alongside other great action movie actors such as Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis. . Since then he focused his life on his wife and on a quiet life as a businessman.
However, he cannot avoid the action. In recent times, his surname had also become relevant due to an unusual medical situation: in 2017, while returning from a martial arts event, Norris’s heart stopped twice.
The actor was traveling from Las Vegas to California and had to stop because he felt bad. Suddenly, he fainted after suffering a heart attack. Emergency services transported Chuck to a hospital. However, 47 minutes after the first cardiac arrest, he suffered another heart attack. He incredibly managed to survive.
‘These two heart attacks would have easily killed most men, even the youngest, but Chuck is still at the pinnacle of physical fitness,’ a doctor acknowledged at the time.
Away from the big screen, his income was based on some commercials and mainly the business side. He is, along with his wife, director of a business called ‘CForce’, a company that bottles water from his ranch in Navasota, Texas.
The 1,000-acre Lone Wolf Ranch also has a museum, gym, and military equipment.
Both run an organization called ‘KickstartKids’, where they teach karate to children and how could it be otherwise, they also have shares in arms companies. Chuck Norris is the official spokesman for the Glock company, the popular pistol company he signed for in 2019.
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Chuck Norris, the actor who abandoned his successful career in Hollywood for the health of his wife