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France

Hallyday back in induced coma after 'botched' surgery

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2009-12-12

French rock legend Johnny Hallyday has been put back into a drug-induced coma in a Los Angeles hospital, where he is recovering from surgery. His son said Hallyday was doing "very well."

French rock legend Johnny Hallyday was once again in an artificial coma Friday, after claims that he suffered a botched operation for a slipped disc in a Paris clinic favoured by celebrities.

The 66-year-old singer fell seriously ill on Monday and was taken to a Los Angeles hospital where doctors put him in a drug-induced coma as he recovered from surgery to deal with an infection from an earlier operation.  

On Thursday Hallyday had woken for a time, but a spokesman told AFP he had been put back into an artificial coma "to prevent suffering and enable him to be treated." 

'Botched operation' 

A November operation to fix French rock legend Johnny Hallyday's slipped disc had been "botched", his producer Jean-Claude Camus said.  

Doctors in Los Angeles detected lesions from the surgery in Paris that required reparative surgery to his spine.  

"We were told the operation [in Paris] was botched," Camus told AFP Friday. "The surgeons in Los Angeles [who re-operated overnight on Wednesday] said they were outraged." 

Camus said he thought Hallyday had begun his US tour far too soon, and "with the permission of the Parisian surgeon." 

"The doctor assured me that there was no problem with Johnny going on this trip, which amazed me. I have suffered slipped discs myself," he said.   

Tour 66 suspended? 

Hallyday was preparing to perform to huge audiences during a major tour, billed as his last, when he travelled to his home in Los Angeles. 

His "Tour 66" show was scheduled to return to the stage on January 8 in the northern French city of Amiens. 

Camus questioned the wisdom of Hallyday continuing the tour. 

"I will only let this happen if the doctors say it's OK," Camus told RTL Radio.  

While he has never been taken seriously abroad, Hallyday is by far the best known rocker in France, with a colourful rock 'n' roll lifestyle. 

Dubbed the French Elvis, Hallyday has sold more than 100 million records including a string of hits that stretch over more than four decades. 

The singer has suffered several health problems since he was operated on for colon cancer during the summer.

Date created : 2009-12-11

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