Edwards experienced two heart attacks while on tour with the Ventures in Japan in the fall, and his recovery, in hospitals in Sendai and Tokyo, necessitated the insertion of a pacemaker and three stents.
A member of both the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame and the Native American Music Association Hall of Fame, Edwards is now back home in Oregon, and with his wife Judy he is trying to raise money to cover his hospital bills. They're soliciting donations using GoFundMe.com, and as of this writing they have raised $13,000 of their $125,000 goal.
Judy Edwards is posting updates on Nokie's condition to his official site, NokieEdwards.com. The latest, from yesterday, reads in part:
Nokie has seen his GP last week and his heart doctor this week. He is moving forward with his recovery… Which we all know what a strong man he is. Nokie has his pacemaker check on the 14th of this month and his heart ultrasound and echo on the 19th. I am sure he will pass with flying colors.
You will all be happy to know he has picked his guitar up twice this week and is now on a schedule daily playing guitar except when we are away from home. Also, he has been working out riding a stationary bicycle twice a day and getting good exercise. Now if I can figure out how to get him to play the guitar and ride the exercise bicycle at the same time, I may be able to get a video of it. Taping his TV remote control to the handlebar of the bicycle may have had a little something to do with getting him to ride the exercise bike. Ha! Ha! Ha!
Below are some photos from Nokie's hospital stays in Japan, taken from a gallery Judy posted to NokieEdwards.com: