Norris moved her to a doctor in Nevada and spent months beside his wife on her road to recovery.
Chuck Norris has had a long and successful career as a martial arts master, celebrity trainer, Hollywood actor, and author of two New York Times bestsellers. He has over 30 karate studios under his belt and has trained celebrities such as Steve McQueen and Priscilla Presley. In addition to The Way of the Dragon, Missing in Action, Code of Silence, and The Delta Force, the former US Air Force officer has acted in a number of successful films.
However, with five children and 13 grandkids, the actor is also a dedicated family guy. The 82-year-old is married to former model Gena O'Kelley, with whom he will celebrate their 24th wedding anniversary in November.
On their 23rd anniversary, he took to Instagram to share his feelings. Posting a photo of them peering into each other's eyes, he wrote in the caption, "My love, my life, my best friend, my world. Happy 23rd Anniversary to my beautiful wife that God blessed me with when we met 25 years ago. I love you with all my heart."
Not long ago, Norris was worried about his future with the love of his life when she fell very ill. Norris met O'Kelley nine years after divorcing his first wife, Dianne Kay Holechek, of 30 years. The actor and the model got married in 1998. Norris and O'Kelley became parents to twins, two years into their marriage, reports Amomama.
However, in 2013, O'Kelley saw a doctor and had to undergo scans to diagnose rheumatoid arthritis. She received a contrast agent injection before the MRI scan. The material was designed to produce contrast in her organs, giving her medical team a clearer picture of her organ's status and detecting anomalies.
O'Kelley stated in an interview with Sharyl Attkisson that she was apprehensive about the safety of the contrast agent but was persuaded by physicians that it was. The 59-year-old said she felt different a few days later but wasn't too concerned until a month later when she began to have severe burning throughout her body - the agony became terrible.
As O'Kelley's health deteriorated and she began to exhibit new symptoms such as speech and memory problems as well as constant tremoring, Norris stepped away from Hollywood to care for her. Norris had his wife moved to a specialty doctor in Nevada, where she received good pain treatment. The hospital visit would be one of several she had to make in order to get respite from the searing pain she was experiencing.
In her interview, O'Kelley stated that it felt like acid being spilled on her insides. She required round-the-clock care, which her loving husband supplied by sleeping on the couch by her side to ensure he was available to assist her with everything she needed. On her road to recovery, he even read her 17 novels.
The couple sued multiple healthcare providers in connection with the gadolinium-based MRI that caused her discomfort, saying O'Kelley was poisoned. The complaint was filed in a San Francisco court, with the couple seeking $10 million in damages. They went on to say that the litigation was intended to raise awareness about the hazards of gadolinium in MRI contrast agents.
Norris told Washington Post in 2017, "Over the past several years, my focus has been on Gena’s health. And now we are working together to speak out about the dangers of MRI contrast agents."
The couple stated in 2020 that they were withdrawing their case without reaching a settlement. Norris appears to have retired from the film industry, yet he can still be seen in a variety of ads. He is now focusing his efforts on caring for his wife, who has made considerable progress in her recovery.
Cover Image Source: Getty Images/Jerry Markland