Judas Priest's Richie Faulkner is lucky to be alive after he suffered an "aortic aneurysm" while on stage during the band's recent concert.
The musician made headlines last month after it emerged that he had been hospitalized due to "major heart condition issues." No further details pertaining to his health issue were released at the time but on Tuesday Faulkner explained that he had suffered an "aortic aneurysm and complete aortic dissection." He also recounted how events unfolded that day.
"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 recalled.
Faulkner said that most people who suffer from the ailment "don't make it to the hospital alive." Fortunately the medical center he was taken to was just four miles away. The guitarist then 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."
Looking back, Faulkner added that he was thankful to be alive.
"We can always drive ourselves crazy with these things but I’m still alive thankfully," he said. "Whatever the circumstances, when watching that footage, the truth is, knowing what I know now, I see a dying man."
Judas Priest postponed the remainder of their 50 Heavy Metal Years U.S. tour dates after Faulkner underwent the surgery. The tour was expected to wrap up in November. In an earlier statement, the band said the new dates would be confirmed once doctors gave the all-clear.
"As soon as we have any updates from his doctors on when we can reschedule the dates we will of course announce them - tickets will be valid," the statement on Instagram read.
Faulkner acknowledged to Fox News that he was facing a "recovery road" but assured fans he would be "delivering the goods" as soon as he was able to.
"One last thing maniacs, this came totally out of the blue for me – no history of a bad heart, no clogged arteries etc.," he said. "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."
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.