JUDAS PRIEST guitarist Richie Faulkner says he’s “feeling very strong and positive” after undergoing a life-saving heart surgery a little under two months ago.
During the band’s September 26 performance at the Louder Than Life festival, Faulkner suffered from an acute cardiac aortic dissection as the band were performing their classic song ‘Painkiller’. Thankfully the Rudd Heart and Lung Center at UofL Health – Jewish Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky was close by where Richie underwent a ten hour, life saving surgery.
Faulkner, who is now recovering at home in Nashville, offered an update on his condition in a social media post yesterday, writing: “Hello there maniacs! I just wanted to post, and I’ve had many of you asking for an update on how my recovery is going.
“I was able to return home from hospital 10 days after my surgery to continue recovery at home. It has now been 7 weeks since the night it all happened and I’m feeling very strong and positive. My incisions have healed very well and I can definitely see the light at the end of the tunnel. I’m walking well and moving freely, I’m pretty active and I’m starting cardiac therapy very soon. I’m playing guitar everyday and with the love and support of my family, the continued support from you guys and the inspiration that I get from the guitar, I’ll be back on stage in no time! My surgeons are very pleased with my progress and have all reserved front row tickets for the next PRIEST show haha.
“It’s Thanksgiving this month, and whether you celebrate it or not, I have a lot to give thanks for this year; Including all of you for your patience, your love and your support. Lots of love and I’ll see you down the front soon, horns held high.”
Two weeks after his surgery, Faulkner recalled what happened during the band’s performance of ‘Painkiller’ at Louder Than Life, saying: “I became a bit light-headed. It didn’t go away. I’ve never fainted before. I’ve never passed out, but I knew that this felt like I was going to pass out in a minute.
“Luckily, it was about half way into the song,” he continued. “So obviously, I had to finish the song. If I had known how important it was, maybe I would have got off there a bit quicker. But I think that’s the whole point for me. I had no idea whatsoever what it was.”
Richie then noted that he experienced a sharp pain just as he was stepping off the stage. “That’s when it exploded,” he said.
“The more I read about it, the more astonishing it is to me to think that I even made it to the hospital,” he added. “The amount of time when I actually go the pain and when I turned up in the hospital and when we were actually operating, it was quite a lot of time. The more I read about it, the more unbelievable — that amount of time — I don’t know how I’m still around today.”
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