This section includes the years from 1997 until 2003.
– Shy-Drager Syndrome
– Autonomic neuropathy
– Somber tone
– Died at age 71
– Interred next to his wife, June
John was first diagnosed with Shy-Drager Syndrome in 1997. This is a neurodegenerative disease, wich pretty much can be explained as cells in the brain or in the spinal chord are lost. This is an illness that has no definitive treatment, and one can only slow it down as best as possible.
Shortly after the diagnosis, it was altered to be autonomic neuropathy. This disease often comes as a consequence to diabetes. That was also the case for Johnny Cash. This illness attacks internal organs such as the bladder and the cardiovascular system, and of course this weakens Johns immunesystem. This resulted in him being hospitalized in 1998 for severe pneumonia wich did quite the damage on his lungs.
Affecting his music
That his health grew weakened can also be heard in his latest albums. After releasing Unchained in 1996, it took four years for him to release the next; American III: Solitary Man. On this album and the next; American IV: The Man Comes Around and American V: A Hundred Highways, you can hear his voice degenerating and becoming more somber. It’s easy to pick up in the songs, but when you here it you just get amazed by the will to keep going, and also how well the voice fits with the material he records. The somber tone adds a special someting to the albums and give them a personality that really speaks out Johnny Cash.
You can also see John quite weakened in the video “Hurt”. The video, song, lyrics, Music – everything fits – and it’s no wonder it received popular acclaim.
John kept recording songs right up to his death in 2003. In May that year his wife, June, passed away, and Cash would speak of how June’s spirit watched over him and looked after him. Cash also stated that he looked forward to the day when he could walk again and toss the wheelchair in the river by his home. Dispite the will John showed, he passed September 12, due to his diabetes. His situation had grown worse and he was admitted to Baptist Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee, in a short while before passing.
At age 71, with all his children still alive and 16 grandchildren, Cash was interred in Hendersonville Memory Gardens near his home in Hendersonville, Tennessee. June Carter Cash is still by his side.