Delta Goodrem reveals why she kept major health battle a secret

·Features and Health Editor
·4-min read

Delta Goodrem has opened up about why she decided to keep her 2018 surgery, and resulting battle to learn to speak again, a secret for almost two years.

Speaking on Yahoo! UK's 'White Wine Question Time'podcast with Kate Thornton, the Aussie star revealed no one except for her immediate family and friends knew what she was going through at the time, a 'bubble' she still feels extremely thankful for.

"I get in a lot of trouble for not sharing in detail about when I go through these things," Delta tells Kate.

"It's the very Australian approach of just, like, keeping it very modestly. And you're like, oh, it's OK. It's OK."

The former Voice coach didn't open up about waking up from an operation to discover she couldn’t speak, due to paralysis of a nerve in her tongue, publicly until 2020. 

Her single Paralyzed, which she released in July last year, details the harrowing chapter from her life, so she decided to share the story of it with her fans.

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"I've always had the understanding that I know a lot of people go through a lot worse," she adds.

"So I guess, you know, I'm a pretty strong female. I think I've lived many different chapters.

"And so when I look at it, now I've processed it and I've tried to understand that moment. And I was thankful that I was staying really far out of the sea. Just kept in a little bubble.

"It was a very private journey. You know, you're really are so thankful for great friends and family in your life. With that support, I was very lucky like that."

delta goodrem speaks with yahoo
Delta says she is thankful for the time she had in her 'bubble'. Photo: Yahoo

The six-minute clip Delta eventually shared on social media, showed her breaking down in tears, and speaking from a hospital bed with an oxygen tube strapped across her face in footage she took at the time.

Another shot shows the star absolutely devastated, telling the camera she is super embarrassed.

“My livelihood is my sound,” the songstress said. “I’m trying to decide whether this is getting any better or not. It doesn’t feel like it.”

The at times painful video shows the star recovering, painfully sounding out words and often left frustrated.

"Just going every single day, learning how to speak," Delta recalls now. "And it was obviously, as a singer, you start to know how deeply troubling it is at the time, but understanding that of course, I understood this was a fight that I had to go through. 

"And I spent all the time trying to speak and learning and had a wonderful speech therapist, wonderful doctors. And so I could be able to make the new record again. 

"And I'm talking here today and I'm very grateful for that. And so many lessons learnt, but a very silent moment, a very still moment, a very quiet moment to listen and observe."

delta goodrem surgery
Delta shared a video of her journey in 2020. Photo: Instagram/deltagoodrem

Hearing Delta sing and speak now, fans might struggle to notice any remnant of the difficulties she was facing only 18 months ago.

She was back performing on stage at the 2020 ARIA Awards in November, was part of the Australia Day Live 2021 concert at the Sydney Opera House, and performed in February for G'Day USA.

But the seasoned singer said she definitely notices a difference to her vocals now, adding the importance of being able to adapt to that cancel.

"[My voice] is different ever since, for sure," she says. "In the sense that I think if you get technical with the singing, but I think that it's like going through any reset. That I don't think things can be the same.

Delta Goodrem attends the 2020 ARIA Awards
Delta Goodrem attends the 2020 ARIA Awards at The Star on November 24, 2020. Photo: Getty

"You can't go back to where you were before a big challenge like that in your life. I heard this one saying, this change is a good change, like all changes are. 

"And I try to kind of think every time some sort of big change happens, like, OK. This is a good change. Change is always important. Adapting, adapting to it quickly. I think I adapt quick with that."

While she's back to doing what she loves in music now, Delta says the work hasn't stopped on her rehab.

"I think I just have to continue to always work at it so I can be the best singer that I can be, the best communicator through my heart and soul. But of course, there's always work to do. There's always work to do."

Yahoo Kate Thornton 'White Wine Question Time' podcast
Delta spoke to Kate Thornton on Yahoo! UK's 'White Wine Question Time' podcast. Photo: Yahoo

You can listen to Yahoo UK's full interview with Delta Goodrem on Apple Podcasts or Spotify now.

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