For US singer Natalie Cole, life and death came as two sides of a coin this week.
While the performer and former drug addict sat comforting her cancer-sickened sister, Carol "Cookie" Cole, she got an urgent call from her own doctors saying a kidney was available for her own life-prolonging surgery, the New York Post reported Friday online.
Natalie Cole, 59, tried to put off the surgery, saying she could not "deal with that right now", according to Timolin Cole, Natalie's younger sister.
But her doctor told her she had to rush into surgery within two hours at a nearby hospital, Timolin was quoted as saying.
While the 59-year-old daughter of legendary singer Nat King Cole was on the operating table, her sister passed away.
Natalie's older sister, Cookie, had not known she had cancer until the week before.
"Our sister Cookie hadn't been to a doctor in 30 years," Timolin told the Post.
Natalie Cole needed a new kidney after battling hepatitis C contracted from past drug addiction, the Post reported. She needed kidney dialysis three times a week.
Natalie Cole's most famous album is the 1991 "Unforgettable ... With Love," that includes a duet mixed in the studio with the voice of her father, who died in 1965. The album sold seven million copies in the US alone.