Judas Priest’s Richie Faulkner’s suffered a medical crisis on stage during a recent concert, landing him in the hospital.
The musician confirmed the news to Fox News in a statement on Tuesday evening.
“As I watch footage from the Louder Than Life Festival in Kentucky, I can see in my face the confusion and anguish I was feeling whilst playing ‘Painkiller’ as my aorta ruptured and started to spill blood into my chest cavity,” he wrote.
The rocker explained that he suffered from an “aortic aneurysm and complete aortic dissection.”
The guitarist, 41, said that he’s been told that most that suffer from the ailment “don’t make it to the hospital alive” and that he underwent a 10 and a half-hour emergency open-heart surgery.
“Five parts of my chest were replaced with mechanical components,” he said. “I’m literally made of metal now.”
Faulkner explained that he and his bandmates had a shortened set during the festival as Metallica was set to perform after them. He wondered whether he’d have played until “total collapse” if it had been a full-length set.
Judas Priest guitarist Richie Faulkner suffered a ‘aortic aneurysm and complete aortic dissection’ while on stage in Kentucky. (Photo by Neil H Kitson/Redferns)
“If it hadn’t happened in such a high adrenaline situation would my body have been able to keep going long enough to reach the hospital…?” he wondered.
Additionally, the medical center he was taken to happened to only be four miles away, certainly helping his case.
“We can always drive ourselves crazy with these things but I’m still alive thankfully,” the musician continued. “Whatever the circumstances, when watching that footage, the truth is, knowing what I know now, I see a dying man.”
Richie Faulkner has played guitar for the metal band since 2011. (Photo by Neil Lupin/Redferns)
Faulkner acknowledged that he has a “recovery road” ahead of him but promised he’d be “delivering the goods” to his fans when he’s able.
“One last thing maniacs, this came totally out of the blue for me – no history of a bad heart, no clogged arteries etc.,” he disclosed. “My point is I don’t even have high cholesterol and this could’ve been the end for me. If you can get yourselves checked – do it for me please.”