John Prine Remains in ICU, Wife Says He 'Needs Help Breathing' and Has 'Pneumonia in Both Lungs'

More than one week after John Prine was hospitalized with symptoms of the novel coronavirus, the musician’s family shared he is continuing to battle the respiratory illness in the ICU.

On Thursday, the singer-songwriter’s wife of 23 years, Fiona Whelan Prine, gave an update about her husband’s health on Instagram, noting that he “still needs quite a bit of help with his breathing” and “is very ill.”

“This is John’s 8th day in ICU,” she wrote of her 73-year-old husband. “He is receiving excellent medical care and being treated with kindness and compassion by the entire team looking after him day and night.”

His wife shared that to remain safe herself, she is unable to be with John in the hospital, which “makes this nightmare all the more distressing,” she said.

“Like many patients currently in ICU beds all around the world, John has pneumonia in both lungs. He has also developed some peripheral issues that are being treated with meds, including antibiotics,” she continued.

However, Fiona said she “remain[s] hopeful that he can continue to fight this devastating virus and come home where we can care for him.”

She went on to thank everyone for the “outpouring of love and prayers that John and [their] family has received this last week.”

“It means the world to us to have your love and support at this difficult time,” Fiona, who recently recovered herself from COVID-19, added. “Please continue to send Love, Prayers and Positive Energy to John. He needs us now more than ever. John loves you and I love you too.🙏🏼❤️💚”

Fiona also included a cartoon in her post, featuring an angel standing over John’s hospital bed.

“I’ll keep an eye on this one. I’m from Montgomery,” the cartoon reads, alluding to John’s 1971 ballad, “Angel from Montgomery.”

The musician was hospitalized March 26 “after a sudden onset of COVID-19 symptoms,” according to a message posted by the Prine family to his official social media accounts.

In recent years, Prine survived cancer twice. In 1998, he had surgery and radiation to fight squamous cell cancer that was found on his neck, and he underwent a year of speech therapy before he could perform again, with a more gravelly voice.

In 2013, he survived lung cancer, regaining his strength by running up and down the stairs of his house and then picking up his guitar to sing a song. He released his last album, The Tree of Forgiveness, in 2018.

At January’s Grammys, Prine was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award and Bonnie Raitt sang his song “Angel from Montgomery” onstage.

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