Singer Natalie Cole still regrets leaving her ailing sister's side to undergo a kidney transplant - because her sibling passed away in the star's absence.
The Our Love hitmaker, who was diagnosed with a kidney disease in 2009, was anxiously awaiting an organ transplant when her adopted older sister Carole was admitted to the hospital with health issues.
Doctors found Cole a donor the very same day and the singer had the agonising task of deciding whether or not to abandoning her sibling for the time-sensitive procedure.
She tells the New York Daily News, "She went into a coma and I was sitting there with her when the hospital called and said, 'Ms. Cole, we've found a kidney for you. How soon can you get here?'"
The 62 year old waited several hours but Carole died a short time after Cole left her hospital room - and the musician still feels guilty about not being there for her sister's final moments.
She adds, "That was very, very difficult, but I know that she would have wanted me to get it (new kidney). She was my biggest cheerleader. She was my fan. She was just my best friend. And it was really, really tough. But I got through. My faith in God really went up to the roof.
"Instead of doing the 'Why me? How come this happened to me?', I just went the other way. And I said: 'God, I know you have a plan.'"
And Cole now sees fate in the tragic coincidence, adding, "When my sister was leaving. I was getting new life. That's just the way it went down. I miss her terribly."