Health

Natalie Cole's Sister Dies During Singer's Kidney Transplant

05/22/2009 at 01:25 PM EDT

Natalie Cole's Sister Dies During Singer's  Kidney Transplant
Natalie Cole
Scott Kirkland/INF
Natalie Cole was with her cancer-stricken sister Carole "Cookie" Cole when the Grammy-winning singer got the call: a donor kidney was available to save Natalie's life.

"She said, 'What do you mean? I can't deal with that right now! I'm here with my dying sister!' " Natalie's other sister, Timolin Cole, tells the New York Post. "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.' "

"I told her, 'Natalie, this is God's gift, and you've got to go now. Cookie would want this for you.' "

Cookie, who had been diagnosed with lung cancer just the week before, died during Natalie's surgery, Timolin said. "This is all so surreal, and it is devastating."

Natalie, who has hepatitis C and required dialysis three times a week, had a successful surgery, and is expected to go home over the weekend.

"She's doing well," Timolin tells the Post, "and she's going to party like a rock star in no time."



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