Richie Faulkner Hails Cardiothoracic Surgeon for Saving His Life

The Judas Priest guitarist has to undergo 10 hours in surgery after suffering an acute cardiac aortic dissection during a performance at the Louder Than Life festival in Kentucky.

AceShowbiz - Judas Priest star Richie Faulkner has thanked the cardiothoracic surgeon who saved his life.

The guitarist suffered an acute cardiac aortic dissection during a performance at the Louder Than Life festival in Kentucky last month (September 2021) and was admitted to the nearby Rudd Heart and Lung Center in Louisville, where Dr. Siddharth Pahwa and his team spent 10 hours in surgery fixing his health emergency.

Now resting at home in Nashville, Tennessee, Faulkner reveals he had no idea what was going on when he suddenly felt light-headed onstage, but he knew something was seriously wrong when he felt a sharp pain as he was heading backstage after the gig.

"That's when it exploded," he says. "The more I read about it, the more astonishing it is to me to think that I even made it to the hospital... I don't know how I'm still around today."

Speaking directly to Pahwa, who was part of the video call interview with reporters, Faulkner added, "You saved my life. My little girl saw me come home, and that just means everything. So I thank you from the bottom of my heart. There's really nothing more to say other than that, really."

"He was only four miles away, but miles equal minutes and he did not have many to spare," the surgeon said. "Mr. Faulkner is alive today because the stars aligned. He had an outstanding emergency care team, he was close to a world-class heart center, and he was quick to recognize he needed help."

The guitarist, who joined Judas Priest in 2011, added, "From what I've been told by my surgeon, people with this don't usually make it to the hospital alive. Five parts of my chest were replaced with mechanical components. I'm literally made of metal now."

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