Judas Priest guitarist Richie Faulkner was rushed to an area hospital following the band’s performance at Louder Than Life on September 26th, but the full extent of the musician’s condition is finally coming to light. According to a statement from the guitarist on Tuesday, he suffered a ruptured aorta during the band’s performance of “Painkiller” at the Lousiville, KY festival. Like the consummate professional he is, Faulkner played on—even though it could have cost him his life.
Following Judas Priest’s performance at Louder Than Life, the band postponed its remaining U.S. tour dates, citing Faulkner’s hospitalization from “major heart condition issues.” The guitarist’s girlfriend, Mariah Lynch, updated fans that her boyfriend had undergone major heart surgery. Now that Faulkner is recovering safely, he shared the bloody details of the health episode that nearly killed him onstage.
During the band’s finale of “Painkiller”, Faulkner suffered an aortic aneurysm that caused blood to spill out into his chest cavity.
“From what I’ve been told by my surgeon, people with this don’t usually make it to the hospital alive,” Faulkner wrote.
He was then rushed to nearby University Of Louisville’s Rudd Heart and Lung Center, which was only four miles away. The guitarist underwent ten-and-a-half-hour surgery and now appears to be in stable condition. Nevertheless, the sheer amount of “what ifs” and lucky breaks that saved Faulkner’s life are still staggering to the guitarist.
“It could have all ended so differently,” the guitarist wrote. “We only had an hours set that night due to Metallica’s performance after us – and it does cross my mind if it was a full set, would I have played until total collapse…? 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…?”
“We can always drive ourselves crazy with these things but I’m still alive thankfully,” Faulkner continued. “Whatever the circumstances, when watching that footage, the truth is, knowing what I know now, I see a dying man…”
Faulkner also notes that he has no prior history of heart disease, clogged arteries, or even high cholesterol, ending his note with the simple plea, “If you can get yourselves checked – do it for me please.”
Read the full note from Judas Priest guitarist Richie Faulkner below and stay tuned to the band’s social media pages for any updates on his condition and the U.S. tour. Scroll down to watch the performance of “Painkiller” that nearly ended his life. The band added to Faulkner’s statement, “This is from our strong falcon – he will be flying high again just as soon as he is able.”
Judas Priest — “Painkiller” — Louisville, KY — 9/26/21
[Video: Joshua Dr5]
I’ve always been grateful for the opportunities I’ve been presented with. I’ve always considered myself THE most fortunate man ever – to be able to play my favorite music – with my favorite band – to my favorite people around the world…
Today just being able to type this to you all is the biggest gift of all…
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….
I was having what my doctor called an aortic aneurysm and complete aortic dissection.
From what I’ve been told by my surgeon, people with this don’t usually make it to the hospital alive…..
I was taken to nearby Rudd Heart & Lung Center and quickly went into what turned out to be a 10 ½ hour emergency open heart surgery
Five parts of my chest were replaced with mechanical components…..I’m literally made of metal now…
It could have all ended so differently – we only had an hours set that night due to Metallica’s performance after us – and it does cross my mind if it was a full set, would I have played until total collapse…? 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…?
The amazing Heart & Lung Center was 4 miles away from the gig site – if it had been further away…
We can always drive ourselves crazy with these things but I’m still alive thankfully. Whatever the circumstances, when watching that footage, the truth is, knowing what I know now, I see a dying man…
I’ve been moved to tears and humbled by friends, family, my fantastic band, crew and management and also you guys sending me videos and messages of love and support during the last week – I thank you all so much and although I have a recovery road ahead of me, as soon as I’m able to get up and running again, you’ll be the first to know and we’ll get back out there delivering the goods for you all….!
One last thing maniacs, this came totally out of the blue for me – no history of a bad heart, no clogged arteries etc…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…
Lots of love and see you down the front again soon….
[H/T Heavy Consequence]