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Mel Tillis Eager to Get Back on Tour After Heart Surgery

Mel Tillis
Mike Coppola, Getty Images

Mel Tillis says that he is anxious to get back on the road after having emergency heart surgery earlier this year.

After suffering from chest pain for several months, 81-year-old Tillis had emergency quadruple-bypass surgery in March. He was released from the hospital a week after the surgery, but was still frail after returning to his Nashville home.

“So I was sitting at home, and I got up to use the restroom and I fell,” he tells Country Weekly. “I punctured one of my ribs, so they sent me back over there for two or three more days. They took X-rays and all those things, but I’m on the road to recovery now.”

Tillis started rehab in Nashville, but he later relocated to his ranch in Ocala, Fla., for his recovery. He has received an outpouring of love and support from his fans over the past months.

“I’ve been hearing from fans from all over the world,“ he says. “Australia, New Zealand . . . everywhere! They’ve been praying for me! I miss them all so much, and I can’t wait to get back out there on the road to thank them in person!”

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