Chuck Norris is definitely one of the most famous people in the entertainment business. Norris is an unstoppable force known for being a great actor, producer, and screenwriter, as well as a skilled martial artist. His most important job as a husband.
Norris met his wife Gena O’Kelley in 1997, and a year later, they took their relationship to the next level by getting married.
They had twins together and also had children from other relationships. Even though Norris and O’Kelley were 23 years apart, it was clear that they had a love story for the ages.
Norris’s career has been busy and successful. He has been in a lot of TV shows and movies. Like “Walker, Texas Ranger,” “The Way of the Dragon,” “Invasion, U.S.A.,” and “Chuck Norris: Karate Kommandos.”
Norris was a master of many different types of martial arts. He was able to use his skills and become a very popular action star. All of that stopped when his wife got sick.
Norris put his career on hold for a few years in the 2010s to take care of his wife. Many MRIs (magnetic resonance imaging) were done on O’Kelly, which led to some very serious health problems.
Norris was there for her through everything, and the two of them got through the storm together and went on to raise awareness about what had happened. Read on to find out more about this moving story.
A Sense That Something Wasn’t Right
Norris and O’Kelley met for the first time in 1997, when she finished a small part in a TV show in which he was the main character. Later, the action actor invited her to Dallas, Texas, so they could spend some time together and get to know each other better. Their friendship turned into love quickly, and they got married a year later.
The couple has a great relationship that has stood the test of time and all of life’s challenges. Their marriage was put to the test in 2013 when O’Kelley got sick and needed her husband’s help. Norris put his career on hold so he could take care of his wife’s every need without hesitation.
What went wrong and why?
O’Kelley’s health problems began when she had to have a series of MRI tests and contrast imaging. She had to get an injection of a sort of dye that worked as a contrast agent for the scans.
This method is used often because it helps radiologists see tissues, blood vessels, and organs more clearly.
O’Kelley asked her doctors if she could have all of the important scans done at once. They told her she would have to have three separate scans. This also meant that she would need to get three dye shots.
But something went wrong when O’Kelley was given the gadolinium injections, which are a kind of heavy metal with magnetic properties. As a result, she got very sick.
After the first injection, O’Kelley had pain in his nerves, weakness in his muscles, and brain fog. She told us:
“Within hours of the first jab, my whole body felt like it was on fire, like acid had been poured through it. At first, the fire was small, but it spread quickly.”
She worried more about the contrast agent, but she had been told that it would be gone from her body in a few hours and that she should drink water to help flush it out.
Taking Good Care of Her
Even though the doctors said everything would be fine, Norris started to worry that something was seriously wrong, and he didn’t know what to do next.
“I’m lucky enough to have enough money to take her anywhere in the world,” he said, “but where do I take her?”
He was able to reach a doctor in Nevada in the end. When the doctor told Norris that his wife’s condition was critical, he put all of his professional projects on hold to focus on O’Kelley and her health.
Norris slept on the couch next to O’Kelley for five months while she worked on getting better.
As doctors did tests, they found that O’Kelley’s body still had gadolinium in it after a few hours. The doctors were wrong because a shockingly large amount of the element was still there. She talked about this in an interview with Full Measure:
“This is in the danger zone, and you’ll see that I stayed at this level for a long time.”
Warning: “Black Box” By FDA
In 2006, the FDA found that there was a “strong link between gadolinium contrast agents and NSF.” Nephrogenic systemic fibrosis, or NSF, is a fatal disease that causes organs and skin to thicken and harden.
By 2007, the FDA had given people with weak kidneys a “black box” warning about gadolinium. The element would stay in their bodies and they would not be able to get rid of it. On the other hand, O’Kelley did not fit into that group.
Because of this, she and Norris are using their power to push for more rules about gadolinium.
Norris’s Answer to How He Dealt With His Wife Being Sick
In 2017, the actor thought about how it felt to see his wife sick. During a talk, he said:
“Well, it’s the feeling of helplessness, you know, because I’m a guy who takes charge, and here I am with something I can’t do anything about, and it was scary,” he told WND. “And I just want to thank God that we got through it, that she got better, and that I got my wife back.”
Moreover, he told Full Measure:
“Not everyone who takes gadolinium will get sick,” Norris said. “It’s sensitive people like O’Kelley. I’ve taken these and never gotten sick. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t help the other people who are getting sick because of the gadolinium.
Norris has spent more than $2 million on O’Kelley’s treatments. He has even given up acting to focus on running for office. Since O’Kelley got sick, Norris hasn’t been in a movie, and she’s only made three small TV appearances in the last few years.