AceShowbiz - Judas Priest's Richie Faulkner has undergone open-heart surgery for the second time. But he's "not out of the woods yet" after he underwent an operation six weeks ago to remove an "8cm sack that was surrounding my heart" caused by blood leaking from a split in the connection between the synthetic graft and his aorta, the 42-year-old rocker told fans this week.
The "Breaking the Law" rockers previously postponed the remaining dates of their US tour as the guitarist was hospitalised with "major medical heart condition issues after he suffered an aortic rupture onstage.
"One year ago today. Less than an hour before my life changed forever. It's crazy how one minute you're listening to the crowd singing war pigs - everything normal, everything seemingly fine - the next it turns out that it was almost the last time I ever heard it," Faulkner began the health update on Instagram.
"Unbeknownst to me there was stuff going on under the surface that was about to literally explode. I'm fortunate and grateful to be here a year later typing this. My support system at home, the hospitals and of course from all you metal maniacs has been second to none and I thank you all."
Richie insisted he's feeling "well and strong" and doctors have given him the all-clear to continue the rest of the band's US tour, which kicks off on October 13 in Wallingford, Connecticut.
He continued, "I'm not completely out of the woods yet. Just before we toured Europe, scans showed a hole in one of the connections between the synthetic graft and my own aorta that was causing a leak. The blood from the leak was forming an 8cm sack that was surrounding my heart."
"The doctors were okay for me to tour Europe, but as soon as I got back I had to go under again for another open-heart surgery. So 3 days after we played Belgium, they went in, removed the sack and fixed the leak."
"So I'm now six weeks post the 2nd open heart surgery, feeling well and strong and Looking forward to seeing you all again on the next leg of the US #50heavymetalyears tour starting in a few weeks. My surgeons were always confident that it was enough time for me to recover and get back out on the road and it seems like they were right."
"We had to lose @aftershockfestival in order for me to recover, but it looks like it's still gonna be a Kick-Ass festival. (sic)"
Richie signed off the post, "look after yourselves and your loved ones, you never know what's round the corner. Stay safe and see you all soon. Much love, Falcon x RHRF DOTF."