Shock operation for our beloved session singer
By SHIRLEY BROUN
SYDNEY-based entertainer Terry Kaff, who was hospitalised last week after sparks started to fly inside his chest while playing a round of golf, is back home and on the road to recovery.
The usually fit and healthy vocalist and top session singer, now in his 60s, received an aortic stenosis after being diagnosed with a malfunctioning aortic valve.
“It was a bit scary … the electrodes were shorting out,” Terry said, as he spoke about his ordeal. “While they were in there, the doctors also gave me a coronary artery graft. They like to fix things up as soon as they see them,” said a jovial and much relieved Terry Kaff yesterday, less than 24 hours after he arrived home.
Terry explained that years earlier he had undergone a mitral valve regurgitation and was told to avoid over-exertion. “It has been fine and I have been super fit until recently when I noticed myself getting a bit breathless and the valve getting a bit louder,” he said.
A quick visit to the specialist a day after his birthday and it was strongly recommended Terry have an ECG. “When should I do that,” he enquired. “Now,” urged the doctor.
“The specialist said my life would have been at risk if I had ventured out onto the golf course even one more time. So glad I listened to him,” said Terry.
Time on his hands
The hard part of the whole experience for Terry was not the operation. “I was diagnosed, went into the hospital and was operated on very quickly. It’s the six to 12 week recovery I’m not looking forward to,” he confided.
But, he said, he was extremely grateful to the many people who sent gifts, messages and visited him in hospital and at home. “I was fortunate to have so many well-wishers. Robert Gennari came to see me in hospital, my team at South Sydney Juniors sent a beautiful fruit platter and today – on my first day home – WP Brennan and Toni Stevens have both dropped in. I’m so lucky to have so many wonderful, caring friends.”
Workwise, daughter Natalie has been holding the fort while Terry has been in hospital for six days. It’s a role she will continue to undertake while her dad puts his feet up and recovers from his ordeal, which is expected to take anywhere from six to 12 weeks. Doctors have told him he must not over-exert himself, and to his dismay that means no golf either.
What will Terry do without his work, no golfing and no driving?
He thought for a moment: “Well, they say sex is like going up two flights of steps, so I guess that’s out. But, I’ve just located some old vocal tracks I recorded years ago that no-one has heard … I might put them onto a CD.”
“I’ve also just found an old commercial I wrote for the Liberal party. Might be timely for the current political race to power,” he laughed.
Following his unexpected stay in hospital, Terry said the experience illustrates the need for people to go for regular check-ups, especially as they get older. “People shouldn’t be afraid of getting checked out and who knows, it could just save someone’s life.”Tweet