Richie Faulkner of Judas Priest had an ‘aortic aneurysm’ during a concert

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Judas Priest guitarist Richie Faulkner detailed the circumstances that recently brought him to hospital. Last week, the group postponed the rest of the U.S. dates for their rescheduled 50th anniversary tour, dubbed the 50 Heavy Metals Years Tour, after their performance at the Louder Than Life Festival in Louisville, Kentucky.

“I have always been grateful for the opportunities presented to me. I’ve always considered myself to be the luckiest man ever – to be able to play my favorite music – with my favorite band – to my favorite people around the world, ”Faulkner said in a statement. “Today, just being able to type this to all of you is everyone’s greatest gift.

“Looking at footage from the Louder Than Life Festival in Kentucky, I can see on my face the confusion and angst I felt while playing ‘Painkiller’ as my aorta ruptured and started to spill blood. in my chest cavity, ”he continued. “I had what my doctor called an aortic aneurysm and a complete aortic dissection. From what my surgeon told me, people with the condition usually do not make it to the hospital alive.

He said he had undergone emergency open heart surgery, where parts of his chest were “replaced with mechanical components”. He added, “I’m literally made of metal now.”

Faulkner wondered what the result would have been if they hadn’t performed near the Rudd Heart and Lung Center at UofL Health where he was taken, or if the show had lasted longer. “We can still drive ourselves crazy with these things, but luckily I’m still alive,” he said. “Whatever the circumstances, looking at these pictures, the truth is, knowing what I know now, I see a man dying.”

Faulkner, who added that he had no history of heart disease before, thanked his friends, family and fans for their support and urged everyone to get checked out. “What I mean is I don’t even have high cholesterol and that could have been the end for me,” he concluded. “If you can get checked out, please do it for me.”

Judas Priest will be releasing a huge 50th anniversary box set, Judas Priest: 50 years of heavy metal music, October 15.


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