Doc Watson Hospitalized

Last Updated on October 2, 2022 5:44 pm

Monday May 29 – Doc passed away tonight at the age of 89. See this link for more information. (Follow this link to see Doc's final performances at MerleFest 2012)

Monday May 29, 5:46pm – Editors note: As of this update this has been no new information released about Doc's condition since 12:30pm. Here is an excerpt from an article today from Dan DeLuca, Inquier Music Critic, and posted at . I strongly felt it was worth sharing considering the updates provided here and the ongoing inquires on the Roads facebook page – Kenneth Reece.

Here is the excerpt “Last year, when Watson came to Glenside to play the Keswick Theater in a rare appearance in the Philadelphia area, I interviewed him for the Sunday Inquirer. When asked about his health, Watson said this:

“My health, for a man 88 years old, is exceptionally good. But my thinking – I'm stressed out. My little wife has been sick since last November. She had a stroke and she was in the hospital and now she's in rehab. We're trying to get her speech straightened out.

If I have to leave pretty soon, I've fixed it to be ready to go. I sit in my rocking chair in my family room and listen to Randy Travis and his song “Doctor Jesus”: “There are so many out there . . . do you think you could work me in? I need you to mend my heart and save my soul.”

Now you know how I think. I'm not afraid to die, son.”

Monday May 29, 12:30pm – “Doc’s condition has somewhat deteriorated this morning. He remains in critical condition”, according to an update on Folklore Productions website.

Monday May 29 8:25am – Per a 8:30pm Pacific (11:30pm Eastern time) Sunday night update from Folklore Productions website, ”
“No real change today. Doc remains in critical condition at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem.”

Sunday 8:39pm – An update from the Winston-Salem Journal “Doc Watson's family was called to his bedside Sunday after he took a turn for the worse, his manager said.

“Doc did have a pretty difficult day today,” Mitch Greenhill, Watson's manager, said in the evening. “But he pulled through.”

Sunday 7:48pm – Doc Watson remains in critical condition per a 4:30pm Pacific (7:30pm Eastern time) update from Folklore Productions website. A statement on the website reads “Doc had a difficult day, but seems to have pulled through OK. His condition is now pretty much where it was when the day began. He remains in critical condition.

The family, while understanding and appreciating interest from Doc’s friends and well-wishers, would appreciate privacy during this trying time.”

Sunday May 27 4:34pm – The website Bluegrass Today is reporting that the family of Doc Watson has been called to his side. In the Sunday posting on their website they add “Doc has been hospitalized there for the past few days, undergoing surgery on Thursday evening to repair an impacted colon, which ultimately involved its removal.”

*Saturday 6:42pm – Today in a statement posted on Folklore Productions website (Doc's management company) “Doc Watson is resting after follow-up procedure to Thursday’s colon surgery. He remains in critical condition at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem.”

*Friday night update 9:55pm – Watauga has learned that Mr. Watson will need to undergo a second surgery as the entire operation could not be performed on Thursday.

The family deeply appreciates the outpouring of prayers and support of both the High Country comminity, and the support group of the fans and musical community.

*Friday evening 6:11pm update – According to Associated Press, Watson has regained some strength. Agent Mitch Greenhill of Folklore Productions told AP in an email Friday that Watson is resting and responsive, Watson remains in critical condition Friday afternoon.

*Friday afternoon update – According to the Chicago Tribune newspaper Doc was in critical but improving condition on Friday after undergoing colon surgery.

A statement on Folklore Productions International website (Doc's management team) says “Doc Watson is in critical but improved condition after undergoing colon surgery at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The family appreciates everyone’s prayers and good wishes.”

Also of note Steve Martin tweeted “Hoping that the great bluegrass legend Doc Watson pulls through from his hospitalization. One of the masters”

*9:37pm – a family member at the hospital passes along that Doc is out of surgery and the family is waiting to see him. His surgery went well*

*9:21pm – Getting a report from Tim Stafford (of the Grammy nominated band Blue Highway) that Doc is out of surgery, no other information about his condition available*

*7:43pm Thursday May 24 update: Doc went into surgery about 6pm a family member at the hospital tells Surgeons are telling the family that it would take between 4 to 6 hours to complete.

Thursday May 24 – Multiple online outlets are reporting that Watauga County native and multiple Grammy winner Doc Watson has been hospitalized in Winston-Salem.

Reports are that Watson fell at his home Monday admitted to Watauga Medical Center and then transferred to Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem Thursday morning.

In a story posted by (WGHP 8) Watson’s daughter, Nancy tells them that he fell Monday at his home. She said he didn’t break any bones but that he’s “real sick.” The TV station adds that a spokeswoman at Baptist said Watson was still being evaluated, and doctors didn’t have a condition for him.

The Watauga Democrat reports that close friend Tommy Walsh tells them that Doc was admitted to Watauga Medical Center on Monday May 21 to treat an infection but was transferred to Winston this morning (Thursday May 24).

The winner of 7 Grammy awards the 89-year-old Deep Gap native is also a lifetime achievement award winner and National Medal of the Arts honoree.

Photo by Kenneth Reece from MerleFest 2012

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