Calypso icon Slinger Francisco, popularly known as Sparrow, says he might be suffering from vertigo.
Once more, Francisco's mortality has been the subject of discussion; especially after his not-so-perfect performance at the NAPA Fest, Port-of-Spain, on Sunday night. Along with his son, Richard, he was due to leave for New York last night. Upon arrival, his first order of business would be getting test results from his doctor Felix Oviasu, who is based at Long Island, New York. In an interview yesterday, Francisco, 75, said: "My doctor has done a series of tests. I will be going back to New York tonight for those results. He is in Long Island, New York. They have told me it could be vertigo, or we will find out what it is... "At one time, they said it was vertigo. They even put me on a treadmill. They wanted to know what's causing it. They did MRIs and other tests. I am going to get down to the bottom. We will be getting a full report soon," he added.
Zeroing on the NAPA performance, where he still managed to sing his beloved classic Congo Man, he said: "I was feeling light-headed and giddy. My head was spinning like a top. I couldn't give a grand performance." Fellow calypsonian Crazy (Edwin Ayoung) had to replace Francisco at a Crop Over show in Barbados on Friday. "He was due to perform in Rooster's and he couldn't. So I had to fill in. They were looking out to see him. I'm sorry to see him so low," Crazy said. Crazy, who also performed at Napa Fest, said at times Sparrow had to be assisted by Calypso Rose, Kurt Allen and Chucky. "Any time he was on his feet he was being propped up. But at the end of his performance, he got a standing ovation. The man is a true legend," he added. Another onlooker said he performed seated in a chair and at one time could not get the microphone to his mouth.
Strong for fans
Despite the measure of uncertainty over the exact cause of his illness, he thanked his fans for their display of concern. "It's good to know you have loving fans who have been supporting you for so many years. It's a way of getting back on track when they criticise you. "I would like to let my fans know I would try to be strong so the results would be a slap on the hand," added Sparrow, who managed a chuckle. But the man who sang classics like Education and took Road March honours with Doh Back Back displayed his strength of character amid adversity. "I could still dance," he said. His wife Margaret also confirmed: "He's in good spirits."
A person afflicted with vertigo gets the feeling his environment is moving or spinning. It differs from dizziness in that vertigo describes an illusion of movement. When you feel as if you yourself are moving, it's called subjective vertigo, and the perception that your surroundings are moving is called objective vertigo. Unlike non-specific light-headedness or dizziness, vertigo has relatively few causes. Vertigo can be caused by problems in the brain or the inner ear.