Judas Priest's Rob Halford Updates About Richie's Heart Surgery Recovery

Bruce Henne | 11-16-2021

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Photo courtesy Chipster

(hennemusic) Judas Priest singer Rob Halford says guitarist Richie Faulkner continues to recover from emergency heart surgery following an on-stage incident at the Louder Than Life Festival in Louisville, KY on September 26.

Faulkner suffered a life-threatening acute cardiac aortic dissection during the final song of the band's set at the event, after which he was rushed to the Rudd Heart and Lung Center at University of Louisville (UofL) Health - Jewish Hospital when the seriousness of the situation became apparent.

A cardiac aortic dissection is a separation of the aorta into two areas of blood flow which can cause a number of complications, including a heart to rupture.

"He's doing remarkably well," Halford tells the motorsports radio show Speed Freaks about Faulkner's status. "He saw his doctors recently again, who performed this miracle of surgery, and they're over the moon in the way that he's repairing and healing.

"It was an unbelievable night. We had this fantastic show at the Louder Than Life festival up in Kentucky. And the show was going great. And then we came offstage. 'Where's Richie?' The paramedics are looking after him. Something's happening. Without going into too much lengthy detail, less than an hour later, he was in almost 11 hours of heart surgery.

"I'll tell you what's a miracle about that: The Lord intervened, because it's all about timing," Halford continued. "He was barely 10 minutes away from one of the greatest heart surgeons in the world - a team, a great team of people - so they got in there quickly.

"When I was talking to him, he was getting undressed and dressed to go to the hospital, and at that time, his aorta had ruptured and his chest was filling with blood. But his doctor said he was so high on adrenaline - and this happens in sports; guys play with a broken whatever; your adrenaline is pushing you through. So he got to the hospital and then this incredible dream team of surgeons saved his life. It is an absolute miracle.

"Because you know what it's like. With guys - I suppose everybody, to a certain extent - but with guys, 'Oh, I'll be all...' 'Cause we were gonna go to Denver that night - we were gonna take the plane and fly to Denver. He could have said, 'Let's figure this out when we get into Denver.' What would have happened if he had made that move. He followed the advice.

"Always listen to these professionals, especially now," added the rocker. "Listen to them - something that is so valuable, listen to the experts, 'cause they know the best solutions.

"So, thank you. He's doing good, he's doing well. All those dates that we had to shuffle around are being shuffled around as we speak, and we should be making an announcement fairly soon about the rescheduling of the dates. We thank our fans for being so patient for us. Everybody's rooting for Richie around the world - there's been a lot of love and prayers for this guy - and it's working out great."

In his first public statement following the incident, Faulkner said he could identify the moment when the complication happened when reviewing concert footage from the festival. Read his comments and watch the interview video clip with Halford here.

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