Russell Watson: Belief in God helped me in face of death

Classical singer Russell Watson(Photo: Peter French)

Classical singer Russell Watson has spoken of how his belief in God sustained him when his life was on the line.

Watson told Premier Christian Radio of the assurance he felt when suffering from life-threatening brain tumours.

"I genuinely believe that there's a God," he said.

His advice to others facing similar difficulties in their health was to turn to God for help, rather than turn away.

"I think that when you're faced with real adversity there are two ways you can go. You can either think, 'why me', and turn away from God, or you can actually enhance your life by thinking 'this is happening to me...please help me'," he said.

During his struggle against a pituitary tumour, Watson suffered searing headaches and underwent radiotherapy and several life-saving operations. The agonising road to recovery was not without unpleasant side effects like extreme exhaustion, hair loss and inflammation of the skin.

"It changes your view in a very fundamental way when you go through a life threatening illness," he said.

"The first operation was a relative success but the tumour was aggressive and fibrous and grew back very quickly. As a result it haemorrhaged and that was what, in essence, threatened my life."

He told Premier that he found it cathartic to have a belief in something greater than himself when he was ill.

"And that's been enhanced during the last few years," he said.

It has also made him live more for the moment than worrying about the future.

"We're not chosen to be ill. We're human beings and it just happens. But I think sometimes a little bit of faith can actually help. I don't think too much about yesterday or even tomorrow – but more today. Live today."

Russell Watson also revealed that 'How Great Thou Art' was his favourite hymn but that he had always liked Mario Lanza's version of 'I'll Walk with God'.

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