Singer Natalie Cole experienced both joy and pain this week when she learned her oldest sister died of cancer just hours after Natalie underwent a life-saving kidney transplant operation.
Early Monday morning, Cole had been comforting her older sister, Carol, when she got a call from doctors saying that a kidney from a 22-year-old patient had become available. Doctors told her she would have to rush to the hospital immediately.
"Natalie was there with her at her bedside ... and she got a phone call from her doctors that a kidney was ready for her. She said, 'What do you mean? I can't deal with that right now! I'm here with my dying sister!' And they said to her, 'No, ma'am. We've got to do it now. You've got to be at Cedars-Sinai in two hours,'" Natalie's younger sister, Timolin Cole said.
Cole had been battling hepatitis C from a past drug addiction and needed kidney dialysis three times a week and underwent the surgery. When Cole successfully came out of her kidney transplant surgery, she found out her older sister had passed away.
"This is all so surreal, and it is devastating," Cole's younger sister said.
Meanwhile, Cole's transplant was a success, and she's expected to go home over the weekend. Her family says "she's doing well, and she's going to party like a rock star in no time."